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Consumer confidence on the rise

Consumer confidence is at its highest since last May, following interest rates cuts and lower household bills, according to the GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index.

The overall index score for March has risen five points to -30, eleven points lower than this time last year.However, despite this, the annual average continues its downward trend and has dropped one point to -32 for March.

Rachael Joy, from the Consumer Confidence team at GfK NOP, said: “This month consumer confidence jumped quite significantly to levels not seen since May last year. It still remains historically very low, but suggests that lower interest rates and a better picture for household bills are restoring some confidence among UK consumers. Certainly, when looking to the future, consumers are feeling better about the likely performance of the economy over the next 12 months.”

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last year has risen by one point to a score of -17; this is 13 points lower than March last year.

The forecast for personal finances over the next year has risen two points to a score of -6. This is 10 lower than March ’08.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last twelve months has risen by seven points to –75; this is 32 points lower than this time last year.

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next twelve months have risen by nine points to -31; one point higher than March ’08.

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