Election-focused Liberum UK Consumer Survey shows tempered optimism

British householders have tempered their optimism on the outlook for property prices but continue to plan for house moves and improvements, Liberum’s lastest quarterly survey of UK consumers suggests.

“We’ve also highlighted sentiment ahead of the UK general election in May and it helps illustrate why the outcome remains so up in the air,” said Liberum Media Analyst Ian Whittaker, who leads the survey. 

“The good news for the economy? Few are putting off their spending plans ahead of the election. And fewer people think they're the 'squeezed middle',” he noted. 

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Consumer Survey March2015

The survey, which has run for more than five years, highlighted support from potential voters for improved spending on care for the elderly and council housing. 

The Brexit referendum outcome is finely balanced but Scotland must remain part of the UK, those polled across the country said. 

Increased support for David Cameron as Prime Minster sharply outpaces that for Ed Miliband, with UKIP’s Nigel Farage markedly falling away compared with the previous survey. 

Our poll, carried out in January, shows a wobble on overall confidence of the British consumer, with net positives as a percentage of all answers falling 3.3 percentage points to 6.6%, fuelled in part by concerns over job security and the softer property price trend. 

By comparison, the average score in the 18 months to October 2014 was 11.6%. 

“The January data feels like a blip to us given lower fuel costs and improving employment prospects,” Whittaker said. 

1,003 respondents were asked their views in January/February 2015. The respondents were evenly distributed by gender (males: 49%, females: 51%), across age groups and throughout the social classes (A-B: 27%, C1-C2: 48% and D-E: 27%).

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