by Richard Robinson

Published since 1974, the GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer has provided a consistent snapshot of consumer confidence. The headline score of -40 for May was the lowest it has ever recorded.

The key driver, inflation, which has hit a 40-year high and looks set to rise, has not been able to offset the notable positive of a 50-year high in job vacancies.

I find myself unsurprised. The pressure on the cost of living has been a bolt from the blue for millennials and Generation Z people who only know the reliability of a low-interest, low-inflation economy. Frankly, the speed of change has been staggering for all of us.

While the outlook remains gloomy, I don’t see trying to sit it out as an option. As an action starting point, if, as I suspect, the lack of certainty is an issue for people, can dealers help provide some assurance or minimise financial risk?

To start the ball rolling, I suggest service plans, warranties, paint protection and encouraging correct regular servicing to enhance economy and reliability (to avoid cynicism, we sell none of these) as starting points.

All other ideas to ensure we don’t join the gloom are welcome.