There was a surprise increase in consumer confidence this month, in spite of the double-dip recession and mounting fears over the fate of the Eurozone, a new survey has revealed.
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According to data from GfK/NOP, Brits’ confidence rose in May for the first time in four months as falling inflation boosted shoppers’ hopes.
The index climbed two points but is still in negative territory at minus 29, meaning that overall feeling remains pessimistic and is lower than minus 21 recorded a year ago.
Consumers’ outlook for the economy over the next 12 months went up by seven points to minus 26, but this was also much lower than the minus 15 noted at the same time last year.
The personal financial situation forecast over the next year rose four points to minus nine, but shoppers are still wary of making major purchases, with this index falling two points to minus 32.
Nick Moon, managing director of social research at GfK, said: “While this rise is indeed positive, consumer confidence remains mired in the very negative position it has been in for almost 18 months.”
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last week showed that the recession is deeper than previously thought, with the UK economy contracting 0.3 per cent in the first three months of this year.
Meanwhile, turmoil in the Eurozone continues as Spain edges towards an EU bailout and Greek teeters on the brink of leaving the single currency.