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Sunday 20th of June 2010
March 4, 2009    

Nationwide survey reveals rise in UK consumer confidence

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by Kay Murchie

In spite of the recession and the grim outlook that many reports keep providing, a survey by the Nationwide revealed a slight rise in consumer confidence.

For the first time since October, its Consumer Confidence Index rose slightly from 41 in January to 43 in February.

The survey, which polled 1,000 consumers, shows that people are becoming a little more upbeat about the economic climate.

The marginal increase was driven by an increase in the number of people who think the economy will have picked up in six months time with one fifth believing things would have improved, while almost a half (43%) said things would have deteriorated, however this is compared with 53% who anticipated a further deterioration in January.

Meanwhile, the report said that a growing amount of consumers believe now is a good time to make a major purchase. However, the report cautions that the reason for this could be heavy discounting by retailers who are trying to lure people into the shops.

Official figures last week revealed that UK retail sales rose 0.7% in January compared with December, and by 3.6% compared with January 2008, as a result of heavy discounting.

Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide’s chief economist, believes consumers’ optimism about the future is “encouraging.”

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