Since the record high in July 2021 (+10), consumer sentiment has seen a remarkable reverse. With another decline in PwC’s latest survey, it has now fallen for five consecutive quarters post-recession.
Driven by the easing of restrictions, the ‘vaccine effect’ and pent-up demand for spending, the exuberance in 2021 was unlikely to last. While sentiment was always going to come down from those highs, a continued stream of global events has steadily pulled confidence down as consumers jumped from crisis to crisis, starting with food and fuel shortages last Autumn, to rising inflation and the war in Ukraine in Spring, and finally onto the cost of living this summer.
PwC’s latest survey confirms that continuing trend, with a fall of 8 points from the summer. Now at -44, sentiment is worse than at the start of the pandemic (-26) and at any point during austerity measures (-42). It has only been lower once – immediately after the collapse of Lehman’s at the start of the Global Financial Crisis (-51)
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