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GfK: consumer confidence at 18-month high

Consumer confidence rose to an 18-month high in November as consumers became more optimistic about the general economic situation and their personal finances, a survey by GFK NOP revealed today.

The headline index rose to -22 in November from -30 in October. This was the highest reading since May 2011, beating the consensus forecast for no change.

Nick Moon, managing director of social research at GFK, explained: "This is an unexpected rise in consumer confidence and comes despite uninspiring economic news recently. The improvement is especially dramatic following such a stagnant summer and represents the seventh highest increase since the Index began in 1974.

"The improvement in consumer confidence will be especially welcomed by retailers as the figures show that people are increasingly optimistic about how the economy will perform over the next twelve months. This could be because consumers now think things can’t get any worse or it may be for more positive reasons, but either way it is good news as we look ahead to 2013."

The forecast for personal finances over the next twelve months increased by six points this month to -7; this was three points higher than this time last year.

The expectation for the general economic situation over the next twelve months rose 14 points to -15, this was 18 points higher than November 2011.

The climate for making major purchases measure increased seven points to -26, one point higher than in November last year.

Moon added: "The direction things head in the New Year will be crucial in determining whether this is a short-term spike or the start of a long-term improvement in people’s spending habits. When we saw a significant improvement like this in May 2011 the surge ebbed away over the following few months as the country returned to recession. Hopefully this spike is built on firmer foundations."

Source : The Retail Bulletin

30 November 2012
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