Consumer confidence declines in July

UK consumer confidence has fallen sharply in July and is now languishing at one of the lowest levels on record as people fretted over the economy’s future.

Think tank GfK NOP said its consumer confidence index fell to -30 in July, the second large fall after a slump to -25 in June from a five-month high of -21 in May.

The index has been lower than this only in the depths of recessions in mid-2008 and the early-1990’s.

All measures on the index fell, as consumers said they were worried about their personal finances both over the past year and looking forward another year, while sentiment over the wider economy also waned.

IHS Global Insight chief economist Howard Archer said the index had shown “marked deterioration”.

“A recent steady stream of largely disappointing economic news has clearly weighed down on consumer sentiment and brought back a sense of reality after sentiment was clearly lifted in May by a combination of special factors,” he said.