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“Leaver” consumer confidence down slightly after Article 50 triggered

Strong support” for Brexit among leavers has steadily declined 
Consumers expect price rises in every major category of goods – from groceries to cars to housing 

The first study gauging British consumer confidence immediately after Article 50 was triggered reveals confidence among those who support Brexit has fallen.

The latest Nielsen Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions revealed that although British consumer confidence, overall, remained stable at 102, the level among “Leavers” dropped from 109 in January to 106 in early April, whilst “Remainer” confidence increased one point to 97.

A score over 100 indicates degrees of optimism, below 100, degrees of pessimism.

It also reveals that “strong support” for Brexit among Leavers has steadily declined, from 74% in December to 68% in January to 63% after Article 50 was triggered. Furthermore, 3% of Leave supporters now oppose the Brexit. However, 10% of those who originally supported Remain have now shifted their support to Leave.

Overall, consumer confidence remains stable, but we are seeing a wobble among Leave voters,” said Steve Smith, managing director, Nielsen U.K. and Ireland. “Although immigration concerns have dropped, Leavers are starting to worry more about everyday matters, particularly rising utility bills and food prices.”

After reaching a 10-year high in the second half of 2016, the proportion of consumers feeling now is a good time to buy things they want/need dropped 4% to 49%. Furthermore, the proportion engaging in cost-cutting activities increased 2% to 51%, its highest level for 18 months.

From a list of 18 main types of goods, consumers, overall, expect price rises in every single one. Imported groceries are seen as the most likely to have price rises (cited by 77%), followed by fuel prices (73%), domestic groceries and transport (both 68%).

Inflation is creeping in and as it could be as high as 3% by July, consumers believe this will translate to price rises across the board,” concludes Smith. “However, overall consumer confidence remains stable and we know that brands and retailers are working closely together on solutions to minimise any price impact on shoppers.”


The “Article 50” Survey polled 500 UK consumers between 30 March and 3 April 2017 and is an adjunct to the ongoing Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions which polls more than 30,000 online consumers in 63 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample includes Internet users who agreed to participate in this survey and has quotas based on age and sex for each country. It is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers by country. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. However, a probability sample of equivalent size would have a margin of error of ±0.6% at the global level. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behaviour of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit

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Alex Burmaster
Meteor Public Relations,
T: 020 3544 3570, M: 0780 313 1144,