UK consumer confidence hits highest-ever level
UK consumers are no longer feeling the pinch, according to the latest figures from Nielsen.
The global performance management company found that consumer confidence in the country rose from 99 points in Q2 to 103 in Q3. This is the highest it's been since Nielsen’s Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was first conducted in Q1 2005.
It's also a historical number - the index has only been above 100 once before, in Q1 2006 (101), when Tony Blair was in his third term as PM and the official interest rate was 4.5%.
More than half of UK consumers, 56%, are now positive about their personal finances, and 49% are positive about making purchases. The proportion who think the country is in a recession is 47%, the second lowest level since the question first appeared, more than seven years ago (Q1, 2008).
“Confidence moving into positive territory for the first time in nearly a decade is certainly a landmark moment,” says Nielsen UK & Ireland managing director Steve Smith. “Overall, the UK economy is in better shape than most other European countries, as unemployment rates are down and wage inflation is rising faster than general inflation. Shoppers are also seeing the benefit of lower fuel and energy costs, and households are redirecting spending proportionately to non-food items such as phones, cars and holidays."
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