Confidence falls to all time low on Europe fears

WORRIES about the Eurozone crisis and the slowing domestic economy have pushed consumers to their gloomiest mood ever, according to Nationwide’s monthly confidence index, released this morning.

Five consecutive monthly falls have taken consumer confidence to an all-time low of 36 points, 42 points below its long-term average of 76 points.

Expectations, too, plummeted to a record low.

“A wave of disappointing economic news at home and ongoing uncertainty surrounding the euro crisis has dealt a heavy blow to sentiment,” said Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner.

“Pressures on household budgets have also intensified, with the rate of inflation and the jobs market showing renewed signs of weakness.”

Low confidence fed through into consumer spending, with Nationwide’s index falling slightly here, too.

It is thought that the bank of England’s renewed bout of quantitative easing, announced in October, will help stimulate demand.

However, Gardner warns it will “take some time before the benefits are felt by consumers”.