Deeper gloom on high street

Julian Harris
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CONSUMER confidence has sunk further on both sides on the pond, according to fresh data.

A widely-regarded measure of sentiment on the UK high street was confirmed this morning at 13 points below its level at the same time last year.

The GfK NOP consumer confidence index -- which slipped to a score of -31 in August -- also revealed a gloomier outlook for the UK’s “general economic situation” for the next 12 months.

The sub-index measuring economic expectations for the next year also dipped to -31, down from -27 in July.

“The continuing loss of consumer confidence is a major worry for the government,” said GfK NOP’s Nick Moon.

The news mirrored data released in the US yesterday, where a gauge of consumer sentiment dropped to its lowest level since April 2009.

The Conference Board’s index slumped to 44.5, from a downwardly revised 59.2 in July.

Economists had not expected such a severe drop.

“This was its largest fall since the 23-point decline in October 2008, when the collapse of Lehman Brothers sent shockwaves around the world,” responded Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.