Consumer confidence clouded

The election and the prospect of an emergency budget sent consumer confidence plummeting to its lowest level in almost a year in May, according to a survey by Nationwide Building Society. Nationwide’s consumer confidence index fell to 65 in May, the lowest reading since June last year, from an upwardly revised reading of 75 in April. "Until the impact of [the emergency budget] is known, and consumers understand where the focus of spending cuts and tax increases will be, it is possible that confidence in the economic situation will continue to stutter," chief economist Martin Gahbuaer said.