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Consumer optimism increases again

Consumer optimism increases again

Category: Economy

Updated: 03/06/2009
First Published: 03/06/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Consumer confidence increased again in May following a sharp rise in April, although feelings about the present situation are not so optimistic.

The Nationwide's Consumer Confidence Index is now at its highest point since November last year, following a rise of eight points in April and a further two points last month. The index now stands at 53 points.

The increase is being driven by expectations that the economic and employment situation will have improved in six months' time. Almost 30 per cent of people asked thought this would be the case – the highest figure ever recorded.

Despite gloomy predictions, one in five people also thought there would be more jobs available in half a year's time.

Thirty-nine per cent of consumers think it is a good time to make a major purchase and, while this figure is down from 41 per cent in April, it is a significant increase from the 14 per cent that thought so 12 months ago.

"The more modest change in overall consumer confidence this month is no surprise, and as we continue to see contrasting news about the state of the economy, it is likely that confidence will remain fragile," said Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide's chief economist.

"What is clear is from our findings is that while consumers remain pessimistic about the present situation, they appear to be much more confident about the future than they were at the beginning of the year."

The Present Situation Index fell by four points to 17.

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