Spending and jobs confidence edging higher

Marion Dakers
BRITONS became slightly more hopeful about jobs and the country’s financial footing last month, though many remain worried about their own spending power, a survey out today shows.

A poll of 2,000 people by Lloyds Bank found that overall consumer confidence is at its highest since the survey began in 2010, with residents of southern England more upbeat than the rest of the country.

Seventy-four per cent of southerners thought the UK’s current financial situation is “not good” or “not good at all”, compared to 82 per cent in northern England and the Midlands. Seventy-seven per cent across the country think the employment market is bad – but this is down from 81 per cent in August and 87 per cent in May.

A net balance of minus five per cent believe they will have less money in the future rather than more, once household bills and other essentials are paid.

Patrick Foley, chief economist at Lloyds, said that “after a sustained run of stronger confidence, the pace of improvement in sentiment has eased back a little”, but added that he expects confidence to bounce back in the coming months.