“Surprise” boost in consumer confidence in January

Consumer confidence

Consumer confidence saw a surprise boost in January as “bullish Brits” took a more optimistic view of the economy despite slow Brexit progress.

According to GfK, consumer confidence rose four points from a four-year low in December to -9 in January.

All five measures used to calculate consumer confidence rose, including a marked rise in likelihood to buy big ticket items like furniture, up from one to five points.

Outlook for consumers’ personal finances over the next 12 months saw a similarly positive rise, up from two in December to six.

Views of the general economy over the next year also rose by four points to minus 24, though effects from yesterday’s leaked Brexit report stating the economy is set to shrink five per cent even with trade deals in place are not yet visible.

GfK’s head of market dynamics Joe Staton said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the figures, but warned that overall confidence is still nearly twice as low as December 2016.

“In the absence of good news about rising wages and declining inflationary pressures, this off-trend number could be a temporary blip rather than a strong sign of recovery,” he said.

This has seemingly not deterred business, according to a survey of 1200 companies conducted by Lloyds Bank, which found that confidence in the sector rose to a nine-month high.

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