Consumer confidence has slumped to a five-year low as Brexit uncertainty leaves shoppers feeling unsure about the health of the UK economy.
The GfK consumer confidence survey fell to -14 in December, down from -13 in the previous month and -10 in October.
Shoppers are feeling less confident about both their own finances and the general economic situation over the next 12 months.
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “At -14 this month, UK consumers are ending 2018 on a pessimistic note with Christmas cheer in short supply. We are five points lower than this year’s opening score in January and were no higher than -7 this summer. This represents a more than five-year low for the index which has bumped along in negative territory since 2016.
“The steep drop of six points for the outlook on the general economy in the coming year is the most telling data point this month with consumers clearly casting a vote of no-confidence in our immediate economic future.
”In the face of ever-rising costs, and the threat of higher inflation combined with uncertainty around the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, it’s no surprise that consumers are in a chilly mood of despondency and putting on a glum face when they look at the prospects for 2019.”