UK consumer confidence rises

01 November 2010

LONDON: UK consumer confidence improved in October despite an uncertain economic outlook overall, a new survey has revealed.

The influential GfK NOP consumer confidence barometer has risen in recent days, marking only the second upswing in the public mood since last February. 

According to the survey, Britons' perception of their own personal financial situation over the coming year rose this month, even though  perceptions of the country's economic outlook as a whole fell.

Although any rise in economic confidence is good news for the business community, the compilers of the survey have urged caution.

They stress that their responses were collected in the first half of this month, before the government announced severe cuts to welfare and public services in the so-called Comprehensive Spending Review.

"Confidence has remained reasonably consistent since June, but this could change as the public comprehends the full impact of the cuts," said Nick Moon of GfK NOP Social Research.

Figures released last week showed that Britain's economy grew by 0.8% in the third quarter of this year; twice as fast as analysts had expected.

But growth is expected to slow sharply as we move into 2011, when a rise in VAT and public spending reductions will kick in.

"As with this week's economic growth figures, the small rise on consumer confidence for October is really only a prelude to what happens next," Moon added.

Data sourced from Reuters; additional content by Warc staff