Consumer confidence nudged up by housing market
Consumer confidence was nudged up marginally in July by expectations of recovery in the housing market and an end to the recession, Nationwide said this week.
Nationwide’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to 60 in July, up from a revised 59 in June.
Spending confidence fell for the first time in a year, but British homeowners believe the value of their property will rise in the next six months.
Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide’s chief economist, said consumers remain cautious, but have not been panicked by the recession.
“Consumers might have been reassured by reports that the housing market may be starting to recover, and manufacturing output is no longer falling as rapidly as it was a few months ago,” Gahbauer said.
Around one in five (21%) of those polled expect the economy to worsen in the next six months, compared to 53% at the start of 2009.
In a separate report, the British Retail Consortium revealed a slowdown in shop-price inflation, helping consumer purchasing power.
Inflation for food prices slowed to 3.8%, while prices for non-food items dropped 1.3% on year.