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Consumer confidence rises despite big-ticket jitters

Consumer confidence rose by two points in January to -5, although stubborn concerns about the wider economy mean the GfK index is still stuck in negative territory.

Three of the five measures saw increases in January, one was unchanged and the other, GfK’s major purchase index which tracks consumers’ intentions to spend on big-ticket items like cars, decreased.

Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, said it could be a sign that spending will slow throughout 2017.

“Rising inflation and weak income growth is forecast to squeeze households’ disposable income, and these two factors could conspire to depress confidence for the year ahead,” he said. “It’s certainly difficult to see where the oomph will come from over the short term.”

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