UK: Consumer confidence returning on clothing spend
Fewer people are cutting back on clothing spend, despite overall UK consumer confidence dipping for the first time in 12 months, according to new figures.
Falling inflation has helped reduce downward pressure on discretionary spending, research by Deloitte has revealed. Sentiment in categories such as clothing dropped to 3% in the fourth quarter. This compares to a larger fall of 7% in the previous quarter.
The figures show that overall, consumer confidence has suffered a setback for the first time in 12 months as UK shoppers become savvier with their budgets.
Consumer confidence dipped 11% in the fourth quarter, compared to 8% in the previous quarter.
"In a sign of the headwinds facing the consumer sector, the number of pessimists continues to outnumber the optimists across all measures of confidence in our survey," said Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte.
"Weak wage growth in particular is still putting pressure on household budgets. Recent gains in consumer spending have been largely fuelled by people dipping into their savings, higher levels of borrowing and lower inflation, rather than an increase in real disposable income."
The fall, however, is likely to be a temporary set-back, Deloitte says, as an improving economy is expected to help lift real incomes this year.
"We think this is a setback rather than a longer-term, underlying decline in confidence. Consumer sentiment is higher than it was a year ago and an accelerating economy and lower inflation should bolster consumer incomes in 2014."
- China tightens on corporate social responsibility
- Marks & Spencer to extend mobile phone monitoring
- Factoring: a lifeline for apparel suppliers?
- Outdoor industry's future must be more inclusive
- Responsible apparel sourcing requires teamwork
- H&M calls for annual wage reviews in Bangladesh
- New JC Penney CEO “credible but no solution”
- Cambodia garment workers campaign for higher wages
- UPDATE: A&F appoints Horowitz to head Hollister
- Child labour products still entering US from China
- Apparel Market in China to 2018 - Market Size, Trends, and Forecasts
- Wool in the 21st Century: new prospects for a familiar fibre
- Ethiopia – the emerging textile and clothing industry
- Prospects for the Textile and Clothing Industry in Vietnam
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2020