LONDON/NUREMBERG: British and German consumers have recorded their highest levels of confidence for three years and six years respectively, according to the latest poll of economic sentiment.
Market researchers GfK polled 2,000 people in both countries and found consumer sentiment rose +5 points to -16 in the UK, the highest reading since April 2010.
Confidence in Germany rose for the seventh consecutive month to +7 in August, up from +6.8 in July, reaching its highest level since September 2007.
British consumers expressed confidence in all but one of the five measures included in the overall index. Only the measure of the climate for making major purchases fell -1 point to -21.
Otherwise, British assessment of the general economic situation in the next 12 months rose +7 to -9 while optimism about personal finances rose +7 to zero.
The GfK survey, one of the first indicators of the July to September period, followed recent upbeat news that the UK economy grew 0.6% in the second quarter. UK retail sales in July also grew at their fastest rate since January, according to the Confederation of British Industry.
Nick Moon, managing director of social research at GfK, said: "There is now no doubt that consumer confidence has recovered strongly from the unparalleled trough of the last five years…the current trend is definitely upwards."
In Germany, consumer sentiment was buoyed by robust employment prospects and moderate inflation. As in the UK, the mood of consumers was also improved by the recent sunny weather.
Willingness to buy improved again in Germany, increasing +4.2 points to an 18-month high of 40.7 points, and economic expectations improved by 3.2 points.
However, GfK suggested Germany's economic recovery will be slow, partly because of the economic conditions in some fellow euro-zone countries.
"Since the end of last year, the economic outlook has been on an upward trend, although there is considerable room for improvement in the indicator value," GfK concluded.
Data sourced from Reuters, Bloomberg, GfK, Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff