Grocery shoppers
The survey revealed that consumers feel it is a good time to make major purchases Reuters

Consumer confidence in the UK dipped by 1 point to -7 in April, which according to a GfK survey is "surprisingly stable". The index remained unchanged from February to March prior to the latest survey.

Six of the seven measures used for the survey registered a decline and were significantly lower than the results for April 2016. Concerns were mainly focused on personal finances and the economic situation over the last 12 months. The results were released on Friday (April 28).

However, the survey also noted that consumers felt an increasing confidence in making "major purchases" compared to last month and April 2016.

This discovery poses some puzzling questions as the impact of the decline in the pound would make imports more expensive. It may indicate that consumers want to make major purchases before higher inflation begins to take shape amid wage stagnation.

A study conducted by PwC had earlier estimated that consumer spending would deteriorate in 2017-18.

Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK, noted that consumer confidence was "surprisingly stable" when concerns about inflation, wage stagnation, and increased borrowing are taken into consideration.

"Although the Overall Index Score remains in negative territory, and has dipped this month, we have not seen any evidence of the predicted post-Trigger downturn, despite high levels of concern about the general economic situation of the country," he added.

"Consumers continue to remain positive about the state of their personal finances and even report that now is a good time to buy."

Staton concluded that the true nature of economic turbulence in UK over Brexit is yet to be ascertained, but for now consumer confidence is "relatively buoyant" in the run up to negotiations with the EU and the general election.

The research was conducted by GfK on behalf of the European Commission.

A separate survey conducted by YouGov and the Center for Economics and Business Research reported that UK consumer confidence had fallen by 1.5 points to 108, which was the lowest level since the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum in July 2016.

The fall in this measure was largely driven by a decline in household financial situation over the coming year.

Another study by Deloitte also observed a 1% fall in consumer confidence to -7% during the first quarter of 2017.