Nationwide: UK consumer confidence slips further in September

| October 21, 2011

The latest survey from the Nationwide Building Society has revealed a fall in UK consumer confidence for the month of September.

The building society’s consumer confidence index fell for the fourth consecutive month, falling by 3 points to 45 in September – hovering dangerously close to the all-time low of 41.

Furthermore, it is 10 points lower than this time last year and way below the index average of 81.

According to the survey, 80% of consumers believe there will be no improvement in the economy over the next six months.

Commenting on the report, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “The economy has hardly grown in 2011, and pressure has continued to mount on household budgets.”

However, he believes the re-introduction of quantitative easing, announced by the Bank of England, may boost confidence.

“This could translate into improved consumer confidence, if people believe these efforts will be successful in lifting the economy out of its current malaise,” Mr Gardner added.

The survey comes just days after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) accelerated to annual rate of 5.2% last month from August’s rate of 4.5%.

The rate represented the highest since September 2008 and it has never exceeded this rate since the CPI measure was first calculated in 1997.

Furthermore, last week, the ONS revealed UK unemployment rose sharply in the three months to August – rising to a 17-year high.

The ONS said unemployment rose by 114,000 in the three month period to 2.57 million, taking the unemployment rate to 8.1% – higher than forecasts.

Rising inflation and unemployment are putting further pressure on households’ budgets and this is likely to impact on spending, which could weaken economic growth further.

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