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UK confidence falls further

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by Kay Mitchell

New monthly figures have highlighted that consumer confidence in the UK continues to fall.

Households are worried about their financial future more now than during the last recession. Rising inflation, utility and food costs means families are struggling and are cutting back on spending.

The fall in confidence has been highlighted in the GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Barometer. Figures showed that the pace of economic growth halved to 0.3%, this represents the lowest level for 3 years.

Commenting on the figures, Rachael Joy in the consumer confidence team at GfK NOP, said the Index score this month continues to fall and is nearly at its lowest level since the survey commenced in 1974.

At -34, it is just one point higher than the -35 recorded in March 1990 when the UK was heading into recession, added Ms Joy.

In addition, figures from the Lloyds TSB have established that a growing amount of people are worried about losing their job more so now than at any time in the last 3 years, as employers are making staff redundant after the effects of the downturn.

Property prices have continued to fall over the last few months as prospective buyers are in ‘wait and see’ mode. Furthermore, the tightening of lending criteria has meant that mortgages are harder to obtain.

Figures released by the Bank of England today revealed that 42,000 home loans were approved in May, which is a 27% decline compared with April and represents a 64% fall compared with a year ago.

The Bank said the figures were the lowest since it began recording the data in 1993. The figures were also lower than many analysts’ expected.

Figures released last week revealed that families suffered the sharpest in disposable incomes for almost 10 years during the first quarter of 2008. The amount of income being saved has fallen to the lowest level in almost 50 years.

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News posted: June 30, 2008

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