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Consumer confidence soars to 20 month high

Consumer confidence soars to 20 month high

Category: Economy

Updated: 30/09/2009
First Published: 30/09/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Having appeared to have reached something of a plateau, consumer confidence has soared to its highest level since January 2008.

The GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index had remained steady in the three months from June thought to August, holding at -25, suggesting the UK public were reserving judgement on the economy.

However, the September index has recorded one of the most significant monthly changes, increasing by nine points to register a score of -16 – a 20 month high.

Speaking to, GfK NOP's MD of Social Research, Nick Moon said: "Our key thinking is that lower mortgage rates, combined with zero overall inflation, have finally had the effect of giving people confidence that they have consistently got more left in their pocket at the end of the month, making them feel a bit better off.

"This, combined with a recent uplift in news coverage suggesting the recession may now be levelling out, has raised Britain's morale."

The figures showed confidence to be up in all areas. The personal financial situation over the last 12 months and personal financial situation over the next 12 months indexes both jumped by five points.

The general economic situation over the last 12 months and general economic situation over the next 12 months indices registered rises of six and 12 points respectively.

Indices recording confidence on the climate for major purchases and savings both recorded monthly gains.

"Looking at the individual elements of the index, every one of them improved this month, making the idea of the jump being a statistical blip less likely," Mr Moon commented.

"Psychologically important is the face that confidence in people's own personal finances for the next 12 months and confidence in the general economy over the next 12 months both moved into positive territory, after being in the red for well over a year."

However, the Prime Minister, who could probably do with some good news after The Sun newspaper announced it was to support the Conservative Party in the 2010 General Election, has been warned not to celebrate too soon,

"One should, of course, always be suspicious of a large change in any single month in a regular study, and Gordon Brown would be well advised to wait and see what our October index shows before celebrating."

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