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Consumer confidence rises despite economic concerns

Consumer confidence has risen to its highest level since November 2007, but many consumers are still concerned about the economy, bills and debt.

According to the British Retail Consortium-Nielsen consumer confidence study, the confidence index increased three points since December last year and was 15 points up from this time last year when the recession sent confidence levels plummeting.

However, those surveyed still had the same concerns about job prospects that they had in December, with 71% saying that job prospects over the next 12 months were either “bad” or “not so good”.

The economy was the biggest concern for most with 84% of shoppers still believing the country is in recession.

Nielsen UK and Ireland managing director Justin Sargent said: “Increasing costs are coming to the fore once again with consumers feeling the recent price increases. We have seen food inflation increase in the last couple of months also so we may find a situation going forward where people start pulling back on discretionary spending more as paying for the basics puts pressure on household budgets. For now, things are looking slightly better than they did last quarter but confidence is not coming back in leaps and bounds.”  

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