This page focuses on the consumer, a key driver of the UK economy. On the left-hand chart we show a chart of consumer confidence, as measured by GfK, as well as past recessions, indicated by light grey bars. On the right-hand chart, we show UK house prices relative to income. A buoyant housing market is often a sign that households are confident about the future. Higher house prices can also create wealth effects and provide equity for withdrawal, which can contribute to consumer spending.