Spanish consumer confidence drops

CONSUMER confidence in April fell to 50.3 points in Spain, 13.4 points lower than in March.

Last month’s scores were some of the worst ever recorded by Spain’s Centre for Sociological Investigation (CIS), which began compiling the Consumer Confidence Index (ICC) in 2004.

Each month the ICC assesses the progress and prospects of Spanish families regarding finances, employment and prospects in order to anticipate consumer decisions.

Scores range from 0 to 200, with 100 or more considered positive and anything below that classed as negative.

The economic situation and pessimism regarding future prospects were to blame for April’s exceptionally low score, said CIS analysts.

Consumers gave the country’s current situation 31.9 points, compared with 40.2 in March. This was the lowest since 2009 and close to lowest ever recorded.

The confidence rating for employment fell by 8 points, the CIS said, with estimated prospects for interviewees’ families falling by six points.

Only 21 per cent of the 1,200 people interviewed by CIS believed the economy would improve in the next six months and 58.5 per cent thought it would deteriorate.

Fifteen per cent doubted that their family situation would improve over the same period. Almost 80 per cent said their economic situation was worse than six months ago, although 15.4 per cent had noticed no difference.

Three per cent said it had improved. Almost half – 48.5 per cent – had just enough money to get to the end of the month but 6.2 per cent had to borrow and 14.2 per cent needed to dip into their savings.

A further 27.5 per cent managed to save “a little” each month.

A little over 30 per cent said there were more jobless people in their immediate circle than six months ago, and almost 80 per cent believed it was harder to find work than six months ago.

Only 2.2 per cent believed there were more jobs than before.

By Linda Hall

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