Consumer confidence in December showed no sign of change, when compared with the same period in 2020, even though there was a “slight return to normality”, the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) has revealed.
Despite stability, there was a clear split across the month in 2021 as shopper confidence increased from a low of -13 in the first week to a high of -7 in the last week as it became evident no new Covid 19 restrictions would be introduced.
However, shopper confidence decreased the most amongst 35-54-year-olds.
Although restrictions were placed in Scotland and Wales, shopper confidence increased in Scotland from -15 to -10.
Financial confidence remained stable from November with 31% expecting to be worse off in 2022 and 20% expecting to be better off.
As a result, shoppers remained concerned about increased food prices, with 86% expecting prices to increase over the next 12 months. This is the highest level since January 2016.
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“It’s encouraging to see that overall confidence remained unchanged from November,” IGD ShopperVista head of insight Rhian Thomas said.
“Despite increased restrictions causing a dip in the first week, it’s clear that time spent with friends and family over Christmas helped to bolster confidence significantly by the end of the month.”
Thomas added: “Assuming no further restrictions are introduced then shopper confidence may be sustained in early 2022.
“However, this is likely to remain fragile in the first quarter as shoppers contend with a double whammy of the energy price cap review and the National Insurance increase in April.
“This will hit the lowest affluence groups hardest, as a higher proportion of their income goes on food, drink and energy, meaning that their recovery is slower than higher affluence groups.”