Consumer confidence fell in September

BRITONS lost confidence in September as fears of a double-dip recession intensified, indicating that last month’s improvement was merely a blip, according to the GfK consumer confidence survey published today.

Nick Moon, managing director of GfK NOP Social Research, said: “September’s slump suggests the rise in consumer confidence in August was a false dawn, as feared.”

The headline index fell two points to -20, the lowest level in more than a year apart from the July trough that was likely to have been caused by the emergency Budget. There was a decline in consumers’ confidence in their personal financial situation over the past year and in their expectations for the next 12 months as well as in the general economic situation. Optimism for the economy over the next year fell five points to -19, 23 points lower than in September 2009.

However, more consumers now think that the current climate is good for making major purchases with the index rising five points compared to August. This is perhaps due to the scheduled January VAT hike encouraging consumers to buy big ticket items before the end of the year.