Skip to content

Entrepreneurs Panel

Charlie Mullins
Brian Hay
Michael Oliver
David Pollock
Debbie Pierce
Julie Meyer
Jennie Johnson
Laura Tenison
Steve Purdham
Jeremy Roberts
Richard O'Sullivan
Tony Caldeira

Consumer confidence shows unexpected rise - but squeeze set to bite

Consumer confidence showed an unexpected uptick in May as shoppers seemed happy to ignore rising inflation and shrinking wages to splash the cash, according to new research.

The UK Consumer Confidence Index rose by two points to minus five last month, with people increasingly positive about their personal financial situation, the wider economy and future plans for major purchases and saving.

However, analyst GfK warned that the real squeeze on living standards may be on the way.

"Despite life becoming more expensive, with inflation hitting its highest level in four years and wages dropping in real terms for the first time in three years, stagnant living standards haven't yet significantly dented consumers' spirits - when it comes to retail therapy, we remain happy to splash the cash as sales jump ahead of expectations," said Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK.

"Although the Overall Index Score is bumping along in negative territory, we haven't seen any significant fall of the kind we might expect during such periods of pre-election and pre-Brexit uncertainty.

"Perhaps the real squeeze on living standards is yet to hit home. After years of people paying off debts post-downturn, unsecured borrowing has steadily increased since 2014, reaching record highs this month. When will we get our comeuppance and realise we have to pay the piper?"

  • Kathryn Parsons, co-founder of Decoded, started with little more than faith and determination, but four years later it’s grown into a global business. Ahead of her appearance at Accelerate 2015 in...

  • Author, writer and marketer Ryan Holiday on how entrepreneurs need to interpret failure.

  • Sue Vizard, business coach and author of Jump Start: The Start-up Book for Your Dream Business, looks at some of the questions solo entrepreneurs should ask themselves.

  • Ian Wright, founder and chief executive of NonExecutiveDirectors.com, is bringing together SMEs and NEDs - without the hefty recruitment fees.

  • Former professional golfer turned entrepreneur Colin Stevens has had a busy 18 months. The Better Bathrooms founder has increased turnover at the firm, secured a multi-million pound investment and...

Five Minutes With

David Hughes sums up his entrepreneurial career to date thus: four spectacular successes and two failures. He founded the sports retailer Allsports and achieved turnover of £180 million before a vicious price war meant decline, administration in 2005 and a sell-off to rival JD Sports.

It took Richard Shonn, managing director of 151 Products, three years to find a warehouse big enough for his requirements.