Optimism fails to head back to summer highs

Chris Papadopoullos
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CONSUMER confidence picked up in January, but still remains subdued compared to 2014, new data show.

The consumer confidence index published by YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) rose to 110.7 in January, according to figures released today.

It marks a slight improvement from December’s 109.7 figure. The survey’s average value since it began it 2007 is 96.7. The index reached 114.4 last July after 19 months without dropping but has come of the boil ever since. It remains well above values that would be consistent with a decline in economic activity – yet the survey responses suggest households are not seeing their finances grow.

“Confidence has dropped away from its highpoint of last spring and summer as the housing market stutters and household finances are too stretched to pick up the slack and generate optimism,” said YouGov chief Stephen Harmston. “We are still struggling to see clear signs that consumers feel the benefit of faster growth in the wider economy. Logic says this should start to change as pay growth finally runs ahead of inflation,” said Charles Davis, director at the CEBR.