Retail Reflections

In The Bleak Midwinter, Brexit Lay All Around

In The Bleak Midwinter, Brexit Lay All Around

Is Brexit turning this year’s ‘season of goodwill’ into ‘the season of uncertainty’?

If you, like me, have been following the best soap to hit our screens in years, you’ll know that the next riveting episode of Brexit! A Country At War, starring Tezza May, will hit our screens on 11th December.

Personally I cannot wait.

Will she, won’t she manage to get her deal past the House? Will we crash out without a deal? Will we go back to ‘The People’? Will we make it best of three? Or better still, maybe we have the enticing prospect of witnessing Tezza and Tusky facing off in Brussels; paper, rock, scissors anyone?

But of course, there’s a serious side to all this. 

The extreme uncertainty which Brexit is creating is having a profound effect on all of us; a look at GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index makes for sobering reading.

In November it decreased by three points to -13 and all five measures used to calculate the Index decreased.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, says: 

“Against a backdrop of the Chancellor telling everyone that the Brexit deal on the table will make people worse off, this month we’re recording an across the board fall for all measures with concerns over household finances, the general economy and purchase intentions.

“The measure that fell the most is our Major Purchase Index, with a seven-point plunge that is unhappy news for retailers. The view on the general economy in the coming 12 months fell four points, as did the perception of the past year’s personal finances.

“Overall, we are now back at the -13 level we saw at the end of last year. The next few weeks are highly unlikely to inject any festive cheer, especially if Theresa May’s Brexit deal doesn’t win backing from MPs.

The denouement to more than two years of bewildering Brexit wheeler-dealing looks like it will be enacted precisely when many consumers would prefer to be thinking of a well-earned Christmas break, filled with family get-togethers, warmth and festivity – possibly turning this year’s ‘season of goodwill’ into ‘the season of uncertainty’.”

All in all, a bit of a mess then. And with everything to play for, or so it seems, the biggest crisis of sovereignty the U.K. has faced in the post-war era lumbers inexorably towards its date with destiny.

Just how all those MP’s are going to vote, is, quite frankly, anyone’s guess.

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