UK consumer confidence does not bode well for the nation's economy in 2006.

In stark contrast to an optimistic December in the US [WAMN: 30-Dec-05], the British index fell to to -9 for the same month, according to latest figures issued by researcher GfK NOP.

Consumer spending, which accounts for around two-thirds of the UK economy, was hit in 2005 by higher taxes and increased household bills.

The confidence report will not make happy reading for UK Chancellor Gordon Brown, who revealed at the beginning of December that the economy had grown by just 1.75% this year, half the hoped-for rate.

Comments economist George Johns: "This release does not paint a very bright picture of conditions in the consumer sector."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff