28th August 2015
Financial markets and unemployment meant consumer confidence fell this month.
Although the first two weeks of the month were positive with consumer confidence reaching a high point for the year, the market crash saw confidence topple from that high.
The turmoil in the markets meant consumer confidence for August overall fell by 0.2 points to 114 from 114.2 in July, as measured by the Centre for Economics and Business Research consumer confidence index.
It noted that the last week of the month recorded a ‘notably larger’ fall.
As new statistics showed unemployment rising again it is unsurprising that Britons are worried about their jobs more than market chaos. The number of people without a job rose 25,000 in the three months to June, the first time there has been two consecutive quarterly rises for two years.
Although people expect their workplaces to be busier next year, the figures for expected levels of business activity for the next year show the first year-on-year decline in August since the data was collected in 2011.
Workers are also expecting a decline in productivity over the next year.
Scott Corfe, associate director at the CEBR, said: ‘The recovery is far from secure as the recent unexpected rise in unemployment and this week’s chaos in the financial markets demonstrates.
‘It is clear that many businesses and workers are still quite apprehensive about the future. If volatility on the markets continues it will heap greater stress on an already fragile business sector and its employees.’
Stephen Harmston, head of YouGov Reports, which collected the data for CEBR, said: ‘It is becoming apparent that while people feel their living standards are slowly starting to pick up some are becoming a bit more pensive about their livelihoods.
‘The fact that they foresee productivity levels falling over the coming 12 months indicated that for many workers and businesses the recovery is still quite brittle – and the events of the last week will only confirm this to them.’