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GfK: consumer confidence rose three points in August

GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence Index has increased by three points this month to -13.

Measures for personal financial situation over the last 12 months and over the next 12 months both stay the same this month. Measures for general economic situation of the country over the last 12 months and over the next 12 months, and the major purchase index all see increases in August.

Nick Moon, Managing Director of Social Research at GfK, comments:

“As more and more official figures show that we are all worse off, with UK living standards at their lowest for a decade, the British public’s economic confidence continues to grow strongly – a conundrum of Alice in Wonderland proportions.

This month the Barometer rose by three points, following a five point rise last month and now stands at -13. This is its highest level since October 2009. The index has risen by 14 points in the last four months – the first time in three decades (1982) it has risen so substantially in four months.

So how to explain this seeming paradox of confidence rising while real income falls? This month offers a possible partial explanation, with the elements relating to personal finances stable, while those relating to the country as a whole rising. However this is only a partial explanation, because in recent months the personal finance items have also been rising.

The explanation probably lies in the fact that there has been a steady flow of economic good news over the past few months showing the economy growing - however anaemically - and even the double dip recession revealed by revised ONS figures never to have existed. With these figures receiving far more prominence than reports about declining real incomes, it is perhaps not surprising that people react to all this good news by declaring themselves more optimistic.”

Source : GfK

30 August 2013
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