UK consumer confidence near all-time low amid COVID lockdown-GfKUK consumer confidence near all-time low amid COVID lockdown-GfK
Shoppers browse aisles in a supermarket in London

LONDON (Reuters) – British consumer confidence edged up in late April but remained close to its lowest levels on record as the country remained in coronavirus lockdown and on track for a deep recession, a survey showed on Friday.

GfK, a polling firm, said its consumer confidence index – which it is now publishing every two weeks – rose to -33 in the April 20-26 period from -34 during the first half of the month.

“Consumer confidence in Britain’s lockdown economy is still severely depressed,” GfK’s client strategy director Joe Staton said. “However, we are recording small improvements in our personal finances and the wider economic picture for the next 12 months, key indicators when gauging optimism for our path to recovery.”

GfK detected a small three-point pick-up in its Major Purchase Index, possibly indicating pent-up demand, but a nine-point spike in the Savings Index suggested consumers were being cautious.

The Bank of England said on Thursday that Britain could be headed for its biggest economic slump in over 300 years due to the coronavirus lockdown and kept the door open for more stimulus next month.

The lowest-ever GfK reading of -39 was recorded in July 2008 at the onset of the global financial crisis.

(Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken)