Friday 29 April 2016 12:01 am

UK consumer confidence at highest level for two years, despite Brexit concerns

Consumer confidence in the UK has reached its highest level in nearly two years despite concerns over the EU referendum, new figures released today show.

The YouGov and Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) Consumer Confidence Index increased by 2.2 points in April to 115.2 – slightly behind the 115.4 recorded in May 2014.

The largest improvements were seen in workplace activity and job security, according to Tom Rees, research director of YouGov.

Read moreBrexit uncertainty could be weighing on consumer optimism

He said: “For the past year or so, people’s economic optimism has been relatively stable, with only slight rises or falls. However, this month’s consumer confidence figures have increased notably with workplace activity and job security in particular showing the largest improvements.

“Although it is good news at the moment we will have to wait for next month’s figures to tell whether these figures are the start of a trend or a one-month surge on the back the introduction of the living wage.”

Scott Corfe, director at the Cebr, said there is currently a “discrepancy” between the business and consumer sides of the economy. Household finances was the only measure to remain flat in April. 

Read more: Confidence across Europe is on the up – except in the UK

He said: “Despite concerns over Brexit, the global market wobbles and business failures such as BHS, consumers are still feeling optimistic.

“Low inflation, high house prices, rising earnings, and the introduction of the living wage are all making households more confident.

“However, this could change remarkably quickly if other parts of the economy don’t perform. The boost from the living wage for example could be short-lived if the challenges it creates for businesses in turn impact consumers.”