UK consumer confidence back at joint lowest level since 2009 - GfK

FILE PHOTO: General view of the deserted New Bond Street with its closed shops, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - British consumer confidence in early May dipped back down to its joint-lowest level since the global financial crisis in 2009, despite moves by the government to start loosening its coronavirus lockdown, a survey showed on Friday.

GfK, a polling firm, said its consumer confidence index - which it is now publishing every two weeks - slipped to -34 in the May 1-14 period from -33 during the second half of April.

“Consumer confidence remains battered and bruised despite efforts at loosening the COVID-19 restrictions,” GfK’s client strategy director Joe Staton said.

“With unemployment claims rising by the highest rate on record and warnings of a severe recession and possible tax hikes, the damage done by the coronavirus pandemic to the UK economic landscape has been laid bare,” he added.

GfK’s Major Purchase Index improved for a second survey in a row but at -47 remained way below its level of 1 a year ago.

Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken