Consumers are beginning to feel more confident off the back of the Budget and successful vaccine roll out.
Consumer confidence is showing ‘green shoots’ of recovery as they see an end to the lockdown thanks to the government’s roadmap out of restrictions, says market research firm GfK.
It found that people are feeling more positive about their personal finances over the next 12 months than they have done for three years.
GfK’s Joe Staton said: ‘The scores looking ahead one year are recovering especially well.
‘If this improved mood translates into spending, it might help reverse some of the economic damage the UK has suffered.
‘It’s highly likely this upward trajectory on all measures will build over the next six months and beyond.’
This positive consumer sentiment will be a welcome boost to the car market as consumers are more likely to spend some of the billions they have saved up during lockdowns on new cars.
Many experts have reported they believe car dealers will benefit from pent-up demand when showrooms reopen on April 12.
What Car? said this week that it says all the signs on its platforms point to pent-up demand for new cars as leads sent to dealers in the last week have grown nearly 12 per cent.
A survey of nearly 3,000 consumers by the firm revealed that a fifth of them are looking to buy a car within the next three months.
Rachael Prasher, managing director at What Car?, said: ‘Our metrics are once more pointing towards healthy demand building in the market. This will be very positive for the industry, as it looks to recover from a poor first quarter.’
Earlier this week Catherine Faiers, chief operating officer at Auto Trader, said they had also seen activity point towards pent up demand in the market.
She told Car Dealer that car dealers could see a five per cent increase in sales when they reopen on April 12 on the same period two years ago.
They are not comparing to last year now as this period was impacted by the first lockdown.
She said: ‘I think April will be a bit odd because of the part month, but from May, June, July onwards I hope we’ll see it back at those types of levels if not higher, considering the savings levels and affordability stats we’ve seen.’
Auto Trader’s director of data and insight, Richard Walker, added: ‘Since mid-January we’ve seen consumer demand accelerate, and with just a few weeks until forecourts can fully reopen, levels have far exceeded our expectations.
‘Along with the strong sales performance already being recorded by most retailers, it gives us real confidence in a rapid recovery post-lockdown.’
The GfK survey of 2,000 consumers takes into account how they feel about their own financial situation and savings, as well as the wider economy.
While the measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is still a lot lower than last March, expectations for the coming year have jumped 13 points in its scoring system.
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