UK consumers are at their most confident in two years

CONSUMERS are at their most confident in almost two years despite Britain’s flagging growth prospects, according to a leading index published today.

The GfK/NOP consumer confidence index rose two points to -17, which is 20 points higher than it was this time last year. Consumers are also feeling happier about the economic situation over the past year, with the confidence index rising upwards to -57 from -61.

And despite economists warning about a double-dip recession, expectations for the economy over the next year have risen to -2 from -6, a full 48 points higher than in January 2009.

Consumers are even more optimistic about the state of their personal finances, with the sub-index edging higher to +4 points.

This should bode well for the high-street, which reported weak retail sales over the New Year period.
Nick Moon, managing director of GfK NOP Social Research, said: “Alongside the news that the economy has just crept out of recession, the return of the consumer confidence index to upward movement after two months of falling back will be welcome news for the government.”

The consumption element of fourth-quarter GDP will be released on 26 February.