May sees a three point rise in Consumer Confidence

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Consumer confidence has improved by three points according to research carried out by GfK on behalf of the European Commission.

GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence Index has increased three points over the month to 0. All five measures used to calculate the Index Score saw increases.

GfK managing director of social research Nick Moon commented: “A rise of three points in the Index in a month is itself a significant change, but what matters more, psychologically at least, is that the Index has left negative territory for the first time in over nine years. It is not actually positive, standing as it does at 0, but this is the first time it has reached 0 since April 2005.” 

He added: “Over the last 14 months the Index has risen a remarkable 27 points since April 2013 – the biggest gain since June 1977 when the index jumped 34 points from -14 to +20 in a seven-month period (June 1977 to December 1977).”

“Although all the individual elements of the Index rose this month, the real driver of the increase is people’s assessment of the general economic climate,” he said. “There was a massive eight point jump in the retrospective assessment of the last 12 months and a four point increase in confidence about the next 12 months. Perhaps not surprisingly, given Labour’s campaigning about the decline in real incomes, people’s verdict on their own circumstances were less positive, with each rising by a somewhat anaemic one point.”

The report also cites change in personal finances during the last 12 months, increasing one point this month to -10; this is 10 points higher than May 2013.  

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has increased one point this month to six; this is 11 points higher than this time last year.

Alongside improvements to confidence in the General Economic Situation, the ‘climate for major purchases’ Index has increased one point this month to -3; this is 22 points higher than this time last year. 

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