Consumer confidence declines to a record low level

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CONSUMER confidence has reached its lowest level since 2003 as a result of rising costs and falling property values. The survey, by market research company Nielsen and the British Retail Consortium (BRC), asked over 1,000 consumers to comment on their job prospects, personal finances, spending intentions and major concerns.
Mike Watkins, senior manager, Retailer Services at Nielsen commented on the survey findings: “The Nielsen/BRC UK Consumer Confidence index now stands at 79. To put this into context, this time last year the index stood at 91, which was the lowest score we had seen since we began polling this survey in 2003. The fact that the score has plummeted a further 12 points is telling of how much consumers are being stretched.”
The survey revealed that 55% of people ranked inflation as their main concern during periods of economic downturn while 39% said they were most worried about high interest rates. In fact, they are affected by both at present.
Another piece of research by Valassis showed that rising high street prices force consumers to seek out financial promotions with renewed enthusiasm.
The research revealed that 30% of consumers are more actively seeking out promotions than they were 12 months ago. Three quarters of them cited a rise in the cost of food and the general cost of living as the main reasons for this. 17% of the respondents went on to say that they are more receptive to receiving coupons in the post.

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