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UK consumer confidence at 15-year high

News, 01 July 2015

LONDON: British consumer confidence is at its highest level since at least early 2000 and this could translate into a busy time for retailers, a new poll has shown.

According to research firm GfK, its UK Consumer Confidence Index jumped six points in June to register an overall score of +7 with all five measures used to calculate the Index also seeing increases.

Most encouraging for retailers is the sharp increase in the number of consumers agreeing that "now is a good time to make a major purchase", such as electrical goods or furniture.

GfK's Major Purchase Index leaped 14 points this month to +16 compared to negative sentiment for the same period last year.

"We're seeing a dramatic uptick in confidence this month, a real post-election bounce that's put a spring in the step of consumers across the UK," said Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK.

"Across all key measures we're reporting higher levels of financial optimism for both our own personal situation and for the general economy as a whole for the coming 12 months," he added.

Buoyed by near zero inflation, as well as rising employment and wages, UK consumers are significantly more upbeat than they were this time last year.

GfK's measure for expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months rose four points to +4 in June, while the measure for the general economic situation over the last 12 months increased three points to +4, or seven points higher than in June 2014.

Meanwhile, its measure covering changes in personal finances over the last 12 months rose five points to +4, or 13 points higher than in June 2014. Its index for personal finance over the next 12 months rose two points to +5.

The survey coincided with the release of official data that provided further good news about the UK economy, which grew more than expected in the first quarter.

The Office for National Statistics said GDP grew by 0.4% between January and March rather than 0.3% as it had previously calculated.

Data sourced from GfK, BBC; additional content by Warc staff