So this is Christmas, and what have you done?

Another year over, a new one just begun.

At Trajectory, we’ve been collecting exclusive data exploring consumers’ attitudes and values, and in particular, their optimism. In tumultuous times, understanding the values that drive consumer outlook is critical.

To what extent can consumers shrug off negativity? How much are their attitudes shaped by nostalgia? How much do consumers trust the information they receive and the authorities in power? How much control and autonomy do they feel over the way their lives turn out? How much priority will they grant to leisure spending in the next few months?

Optimism is a key component of this outlook. The extent to which consumers balance the positive and negative in their daily lives is something that conditions choice and spending.

We’ve been measuring consumer optimism in the UK for two years. Our monthly research includes not just the economic facets of optimism but also broader aspects, such as social trust, personal autonomy, security and identity that are vital but often overlooked components of consumer outlook. This makes it an excellent predictive tool of behaviour, rather than one which merely describes shifts that have already occurred.

To close out 2019, we’ve looked back on twelve months of data to identify eight key trends emerging in consumers’ outlooks and attitudes in the UK.

The headline indicator is a negative one: after the starting the year positively overall optimism declined consistently. In December, however, we saw a slight uptick: some hope that 2020 will provide a little extra cheer.

Source: Trajectory Optimism Index, 2019

We’ll continue to monitor these trends in 2020 and beyond. We live in interesting times that provide us with no shortage of pessimistic outlooks on both the present and the future. Understanding optimism – and the influencers – holds the keys to understanding consumer resilience in the face of such challenges and as such is not just a useful indicator, but an indispensable one.

These insights are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to consumer optimism and the factors affecting it, with much more included in our latest Trajection Report, available exclusively to Signal subscribers.

And finally, merry Christmas and a happy new year from all of us at Trajectory.