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Consumer confidence stable but not recovering

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February has seen a slight increase in consumer confidence and the outlook looks stable, according to the latest figures published by research company by GfK NOP.

The report warns however that confidence levels are in no way ‘bouncing back’ to last year’s highs, rising to -28 compared to -29 in the previous month.

Consumer confidence took a huge dive last month and by GfK NOP’s measurements it hit its lowest point since the 1992 recession.

Nick Moon, MD of GfK NOP Social Research, said: “February’s index shows that public feeling has barely changed from last month.

“The statistically insignificant increase shows that while consumer confidence has stabilised, it has not bounced back.

A rise in interest rates is another looming threat to consumer confidence, with economists Capital Economics recently arguing that with consumers incomes squeezed and house prices falling, even a small rise in rates could have serious effects on customer sentiment.

Moon added: “Overall confidence remains low and, although it has not reached the depths of two years ago, the fact that it is ten points down on six months ago, and 14 points down on a year ago, represents a significant set-back to hopes of recovery.

“While the government will be relieved that consumer confidence has levelled out, such a small increase indicates that last month’s astonishing figures were not an aberration.”

Published on Friday 25 February by Editorial Assistant

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