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Consumers increasingly confident on economy

Consumers increasingly confident on economy

Category: Economy

Updated: 07/10/2009
First Published: 07/10/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Consumers are increasingly confident about the prospects of the economy and their personal finance situations, with general feeling now at its highest level since April 2008.

The Nationwide Consumer Confidence Index rose by six points during September, to reach 71 points, up from 65 in August. The index is now some 24 points higher than it was at this point last year.

Expectations about the economic and employment situation in six months' time strengthened considerably last month, with almost four in ten respondents saying they expected the economic situation to improve between now and then.

It is the highest total proportion of consumers to share that opinion since the index began in May 2004, and is 22 percentage points higher than it was at the beginning of 2009.

There were also rises in the number of people who thought now is a good time to make a major purchase and that house prices would increase over the coming six months.

The sharp gains recorded in the indices is thought to have been influenced by a great many analysts and industry commentators reporting the worst of the recession to be finished in the UK.

However, figures released by the Office for National Statistics yesterday showed industrial output fell by 2.5 per cent in September; a stark reminder that there is still some way to go before the economic downturn can be regarded as over.

This feeling was borne out by figures that show consumers remain concerned about the present situation. While there is hope for the future, less than a quarter of consumers said there were currently enough jobs available.

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