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Consumer confidence down in third quarter

UK consumer confidence dropped one percentage point to -9% in the third quarter of 2019, and retailers have been warned to expect a further decline next year.

Confidence around job opportunities and career progression fell by five points to -6% in the quarter, the Deloitte Consumer Tracker shows.

However, confidence in levels of disposable income increased by one percentage point. This was strongest among 18- to 34-year-olds, whose confidence rose by 10 percentage points.

Deloitte chief economist Ian Stewart said: “Up to now we have seen a slowdown everywhere but in the jobs market and in the consumer economy.

“A decline in consumer confidence this quarter, combined with a fall in official unemployment figures, show that the period of remarkable resilience in jobs and earnings is coming to an end.

“With Brexit cited as the biggest risk businesses face, the last quarter has also seen heightened concern over slowing growth in the UK and Eurozone, and CFOs are tightening their purse strings in response.

“The headwinds from a major global slowdown and uncertainty at home point to weaker growth ahead. As a result, 2020 is likely to see not only lower levels of consumer confidence, but also a slowing down of consumer spending growth.”

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