UK consumer confidence ‘falls to three-year low’

Consumer confidence in the UK has fallen to its lowest point in close to three years, according to a poll by GfK NOP.

The market research agency’s overall consumer confidence measure fell by two points to -33 in December. The measure is now ten points down from its level one year ago and at its lowest since early 2009.

In the survey’s 37-year history, the measure has only fallen lower than its current level on two occasions – for a single month in 1990 and for eight months of the 2008/2009 recession.

Nick Moon, the managing director of GfK NOP Social Research, says: “Optimism has not been lifted by pre-Christmas spending and it is hard to see grounds for a recovery in confidence in the near future.”

GfK NOP’s measure for the current economic situation over the last 12 months receded by one point in December to -62. But confidence in the economic situation for the coming year plummeted eight points to -41.

Moon adds: “The 8% drop in the score for the general economic situation over the next 12 months is significant and will make chilling reading for the Government and British businesses.”

The research follows the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI’s) latest Distributive Trades Survey, which showed retailers reported rising sales volumes for the first time in more than six months,

However, the poll also found that retailers do not expect the gains to extend into the new year and anticipate falling sales once again in February.

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