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Consumer confidence hits six month high

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by David Masters

Consumer confidence is at a six month high, but remains fragile, Nationwide reported this week.

Nationwide’s Consumer Confidence index hit 53 in May, up from a reading of 51 in April, and the highest reading since November.

Just 6% of those polled by Nationwide said the current economic situation is good, although 28% believe the economic situation will be better in six months time, compared to 26% in April.

Spending confidence slipped, however, with 39% saying now is a good time to make a major purchase, down from 42% in April.

Nationwide said the overall two point rise reflects mixed economic news and data released in the last month.

The building society predicted that confidence will continue to fluctuate.

Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide’s chief economist, said he expects confidence to “remain fragile”.

“While some reports suggest tentative signs of a slowing in the pace of economic decline, it is important to remember that a number of sectors are continuing to contract and any recovery is likely to be sluggish,” Gahbauer said.

“What is clear from our findings is that while consumers remain pessimistic about the present situation, they appear to be much more confident about the future than they were at the beginning of the year.”

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News posted: June 5, 2009

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