One more measure of consumer confidence has come roaring back

Jake Cordell
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Team GB - the consumers, that is - are celebrating a jump back in consumer confidence
Team GB - the consumers, that is - are celebrating a jump back in consumer confidence (Source: Getty)

A leading measure of consumer confidence has surged by its fastest rate in more than three years as fears of a post-referendum economic collapse peter out.

The YouGov/Centre of Economics and Business Research (CEBR) tracker, out today, climbed from 106.6 in July to 109.8 in August, on an index where scores above 100 indicate optimism among the general public.

The 3.2 point jump was the largest in more than three-and-a-half years and points to the widespread uncertainty which gripped the country in the immediate aftermath of the shock vote to leave the European Union.

Scott Corfe, director at CEBR said the bounceback "follows positive news from other areas of the economy and slightly punctures the arguments of those who predicted immediate economic Armageddon following the Brexit vote."

However, YouGov and the CEBR said the jump was more a moderation of the paralysis which gripped the UK in the final days of June after David Cameron resigned, the pound collapsed and stock markets plunged, than any Brexit-inspired euphoria. The index is still down on scores recorded in early June and May.

Moreover, economists still believe consumer confidence will drift and spending will take a hit over the rest of the year. Analysts from the CBI and Capital Economics both said yesterday they expect purchases of large and discretionary items to be the first to stumble as fears about higher prices creep through into spending patterns.

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"Spending on “big ticket” items is likely to be squeezed the most in the near term, as real income growth moderates," Capital Economics said in a note yesterday.

Eight of the nine separate components of the YouGov/CEBR monitor increased between July and August, although job security worries intensified, despite early indications being that the Brexit vote has not resulted in an increase in unemployment.

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