British consumer sentiment improved in November, reports Hamblin Gfk in a study commissioned by the European Commission, but most are still pessimistic about economic conditions.

The index rose from minus 5 in October to minus 3 this month, having been 0 in August and –1 in September. Despite the bounce back from the post-September 11 depths, the failure to break into positive figures indicates that a majority of Britons remain gloomy about the state of the economy.

Moreover, a question concerning the prospects for the economy achieved an index reading of –26, showing a hefty majority are pessimistic. However, most respondents said that now was a good time to make purchases, and that their financial situation would get better in the coming twelve months.

Confidence is so closely watched because consumer spending is propping up the economy as several other nations slip into recession.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)