Consumer confidence rises as house market upswing unfolds

CONSUMER spending power hit a fresh high in July, after steady gains through the year so far, according to a survey by Lloyds TSB.

Optimism about the housing market drove the improvement, with sentiment ramping up around the UK, despite remaining concerns about financial pressure.

Last month, 34 per cent of people had positive opinions about the housing market, up from 22 per cent 12 months earlier.

The respondents also suggested that the outlook for the UK is less negative than previously seen. London is still the only part of the UK where people are broadly positive about earning more in the future, with five per cent more people optimistic than negative.

Despite recent suggestions that consumer spending is rising at the expense of savings, the number of people suggesting that they would save more in the future rose in July, to a net balance of three per cent.

Lloyds’ chief economist Patrick Foley commented: “Consumer sentiment may translate into firmer consumer spending and help underpin the wider recovery”.