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Consumer confidence improving

CONSUMER confidence in the UK enjoyed its biggest rise in almost two years during April, according to Nationwide.<br /><br />The UK&rsquo;s largest mutual said its consumer confidence index rose eight points to reach 50 in April, with 26 per cent of survey respondents saying they expect the economic situation to be better in six months time.<br /><br />However, concerns about the current economic climate remain high, the survey found, with 80 per cent of consumers saying they considered the economic situation to be bad.<br /><br />More than two thirds said they believed there were not many jobs available, compared with 66 per cent in March.<br /><br />Nationwide&rsquo;s senior economist Martin Gahbauer said: &ldquo;In recent weeks, we have seen a strong rebound in global equity markets and some tentative signs of improvement in housing market indicators, both of which may have contributed to the marked upturn in consumer confidence during April.&rdquo;<br /><br />He added that the outlook had been improved by some banks returning to profit, leading to more available lending.