(Bloomberg) — U.K. consumer confidence held at the lowest in more than a decade as stores close and shoppers are told to stay indoors to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
GfK said its measure of sentiment was at -34 in April, close to the troughs seen during the financial crisis in 2008. Households had become marginally less bleak about the outlook for their personal finances over the coming year, but the index of major purchases remained week.
Britons have been in government-imposed lockdown since March 23 with schools, non-essential stops and most workplaces shuttered. Travel out of the home is restricted to food shopping and exercise.
“It is impossible to say if this is at the bottom after weeks of adjustment to the reality of lockdown life, or if further falls are to come,” said GfK Client Strategy Director Joe Staton. “Despite households making online purchases of home cooking equipment, freezers, TVs, monitors and other goods, these surges in demand have not compensated for the loss of overall retail sales due to the closure of physical stores.”
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