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GFK survey shows low consumer confidence

Index of consumer confidence has not budged for third consecutive month dashing hopes of a surge in retail trade.

Prospects of a sustained rise in high street activity lifting the economy out of its double dip recession were dealt a blow on Tuesday with news that consumer confidence is stuck at a low ebb.

Following news from the CBI yesterday that retailers had their hopes for a summer surge in spending dashed, GfK's monthly survey on the mood of consumers found pessimism ingrained.

"Things are looking very bleak for the government," said Nick Moon of GfK, as data showed consumers remained gloomy about their own finances and the health of the economy.

The measure for the general economic situation over the past year dropped one point to -59, and the balance of consumers expecting their personal finances to deteriorate fell from -9 to -12. The overall index score for July remained the same as last month at -29.

"This is the third month in a row the Index has not changed and consumer confidence has been stuck between -29 and -31 for the last seven months. This is a clear indication that all attempts by the government to improve the situation in the UK aren't making impressions on the public mood," said Moon.

Chris Williamson, an analyst at Markit, said: "Retailers previously had high hopes for July. When asked in June about expected sales in the coming month, optimism had risen to the highest in 18 months. Once again it seems the weather was to blame, with rain reportedly deterring people from the high street."

The CBI suggested only a limited boost to retailers from the Olympics. A balance of +3 said they expected sales in August to be higher than a year ago.

Source: Lucy Roberts and Larry Elliott, The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/31/uk-consumer-confidence-stuck-on-low

31 July 2012
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