UK consumer confidence increased in September, rising one point to -28, according to figures released today.
Although this represents a minimal rise, the GfK/NOP Consumer Confidence Index is now higher than it has been for 15 months, signalling a significant shift in consumers‘ attitudes.
Nick Moon, Managing Director of Social Research at GfK, said of the results:”Following the much-anticipated but ultimately unseen lift from the Jubilee and Olympics, even a one point increase in the Index, will offer some grounds for optimism to the Government after such a stagnant summer.
“Small though this month‘s rise is, the Index is now higher than at any time since June last year, which the Government and retailers will hope means that we could be seeing the start of an uplifting Autumn.”
Yesterday, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced revised figures on GDP for the second quarter, revealing that the UK economy had fared better than initially stated.
In July, the ONS estimated that the economy shrank 0.7 per cent as Britain fell further into a double dip recession, though this was revised the following month to a 0.5 per cent decrease.
Now, in its third estimate, the ONS said that the economy shrank by 0.4 per cent between April and June this year which will go some way to boosting confidence further, it is hoped.
The index forecasting how consumers feel about their personal finances over the last 12 months remained stagnant at -21, although expectations over the next 12 months increased two points to -8, two points higher than the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the measure for the general economic situation during the past 12 months increased one point to -54, four points higher than the same month last year while expectations over the coming 12 months remained the same as August at -27, also the same as September 2011.
Moon warned that the coming weeks will be particularly telling, concluding: “We will have to wait for next month‘s figures to see if there has been a real change in public mood and people are beginning to feel more secure economically just in time for Christmas or whether this is just an end-of-Summer blip.”