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Consumer confidence reaches nine-year high

Consumer confidence rose to its highest rate since March 2005 this month, according to market research agency GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index.

It increased one point to +1 from May to June 2014, pushing it into positive territory for the first time in almost a decade.

Managing director of social research Nick Moon said the month-on-month change was small, but “psychologically important”.

Four of the five measures used to calculate the index increased this month: consumers’ confidence in their personal financial situation over the past 12 months; their view of the economy over the past year; their view of the economy over the coming year; and their willingness to make major purchases.

One measure – consumers’ confidence in their personal financial situation over the next 12 months – decreased month on month, but was up on last year.

Moon said: “The next few months will be particularly interesting, since the previous venture into positive territory was merely transitory – two isolated months in January and March 2005. The last time the index was consistently positive was in 2002, and this must be the next ‘target’ from the government’s point of view as we get close to the election period.”

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