Consumer confidence rises to highest level in six months


Consumer confidence has improved again and risen to the highest level in six months, according to new monthly data.

The latest analysis from the YouGov/Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) Consumer Confidence Index stands at 108.6 this month, up from 107.8 in August.

Any score over 100 means more consumers are more confident than unconfident, and September’s score is the highest measured since March.

The news comes a week after statistics from the Office for National Statistics indicated that sales in August edged up 2.4 per cent year-on-year, making it the 52nd consecutive month of year-on-year increases.

The closely-watched and long-running monthly consumer confidence index from GfK for the month of September is expected to be released in the coming days.

Data for the YouGov/Cebr index was compiled from a survey of 6000 respondents where they were asked about household finances, property prices, job security and business activity – both over the past 30 days and looking ahead to the next 12 months.

Four measures improved in September, while four declined.

consumer confidenceThe backward and forward-looking house price metrics saw the biggest increase over the past month, though YouGov and Cebr said it should be noted that both measures were still below the level they were at before the General Election.

Both business activity scores also rose in September.

The latest data also shows that both household finance metrics have fallen in September, with the measure looking back over the past 30 days declining for the sixth month in a row — something that has not happened since YouGov began collecting consumer confidence data on this in 2009.

Meanwhile, both the backward and forward-looking job security scores have also fallen.

“Since the election, consumer confidence has been relatively subdued but over the past month it has risen greatly and now stands at its highest level since March,” YouGov boss Stephen Harmston said.

“But despite the notable improvement this month, consumer confidence is still below where it was ahead of the EU referendum.”

Cebr head of macroeconomics Nina Skero added:  “Despite various sources of uncertainty both politically and economically, consumer confidence in the UK is proving to be remarkably resilient.

“While household budgets continue to feel the squeeze from inflation, other measures have rebounded somewhat meaning that consumers are more confident than they have been at any time in the past six months.”

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