UK consumers at most confident in nine months

BRITISH consumers are now at their most confident since January 2008, showing a steady rise in optimism, according to the latest GfK/NOP consumer confidence survey.<br /><br />The index rose three points to -13 and confidence in the general economy over the past 12 months jumped 10 points, but is still low, at -53. However, consumers&rsquo; confidence in the economy over the next 12 months slipped one point to +3, but remains in positive territory.<br /><br />Consumers are also more confident about their personal finances, with this index 18 points higher than in October 2008.<br /><br />Rachael Joy at GfK NOP said: &ldquo;We have now not seen a drop in the monthly confidence rating throughout 2009 &ndash; indicating a steady, if cautious, uplift in British confidence.&rdquo; <br /><br />Earlier this week, a survey also showed European business and consumer confidence firming in October for a seventh month running, an EU survey showed<br /><br />The EC&rsquo;s economic sentiment indicator for the 16 nations using the euro currency rose to 86.2 points.