Consumer confidence falls again as fears over the recovery grow

CONSUMER confidence fell for the fifth month in a row in October, according to the closely-followed Nationwide Consumer Confidence Index published today.

The index dropped by one point over the month, meaning it now stands 32 points below its interim peak of 84 seen in February of this year.

Nationwide attributed the drop in sentiment to continuing pessimism over the stability of the economic recovery, with its Expectations index – which measures how optimistic people are for the future – falling by four points to 70 – its lowest level in 19 months.

Consumers also expressed a growing pessimism towards the housing market in October and now expect the value of their home to decrease by 0.9 per cent over the next six months. This compares to an increase of 0.1 per cent predicted in September.

“The underlying anxiety around the strength and direction of the recovery appears to remain,” said Nationwide’s chief economist Martin Gahbauer.

He said that fears over the impact of the changes announced in the Spending Review were mounting.