M AY has delivered the third successive month of good news from YouGov’s Household Economic Activity Tracker (Heat).
March and April were the first months since June 2010 where the Index score was above 100, showing that more people were positive than negative about the economy.
In May confidence grew again, rising to 103 – the highest score in three years.
The Index score is derived from confidence about household finances, job security, house prices and business activity in the workplace.
All those measures improved in May with consumers in a better frame of mind about the current state of their household finances than at any point since we started collecting data in February 2009 (although at 84, that particular score remains very much in negative territory overall).
Last month I identified Londoners and the well-off as two groups who were leading the surge. That remains the case, with people in the capital scoring 114 and those with household income of £50,000 and above also scoring 114.
However, this month I want to focus on another group whose increased positivity is particularly encouraging – the young.
The 18-34 year-old age group have always been more positive than their older counterparts and in May they increased by four points to 112, touching heights not seen since March 2010.
Job security among young people has been particularly bolstered in the past month. The number of people who think their job is more secure than a month ago has reached its highest level since YouGov started collecting data in 2009 and the score now stands at 103, meaning for the first time since we started collecting the data more 18-34-year-olds are positive than negative about their job security.
So more good news on economic confidence. After so long talking about lack of progress it is a pleasure to be sounding positive again. Let us hope that the trajectory of the trend line continues to be upwards.
Stephan Shakespeare is the chief executive of YouGov