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Consumer confidence holds steady

Consumer confidence holds steady

Category: Economy

Updated: 13/05/2010
First Published: 13/05/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Consumer confidence rose slightly in April, and is now considerably higher than it was this time last year.

The Nationwide Consumer Confidence Index ticked up by one point last month, as consumers braced themselves for a tightly fought general election.

However, on an annual basis, the index shows a marked improvement in public sentiment.

Faith in the present situation improved in April, although expectations for the future dropped, while confidence in the spending situation remained broadly stable.

Consumers also showed greater optimism towards their present and future employment prospects, with confidence about both picking up over April.

Guarded optimism was also in evidence when consumers were asked about their feelings on the UK housing market.

On average, respondents said they expected the value of their home to increase by 1% over the next six months, a slight rise from 0.9% in March.

"Confidence is now 23 points higher than at the same time last year," said Mark Saddleton, head of economic and market analysis at the building society.

"However, further increases may be muted as consumers wait to see what impact a hung parliament and the deficit reduction plans of a new government will have on the economy and employment situation.

"With confidence still fragile following the recent recession, there is a very real possibility that the index could experience further volatility in the coming months if uncertainty remains following the formation of a coalition Government."

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