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Consumer confidence starts to rise again

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Weakening retail sales may tell a different story, but UK consumer confidence remains high.

Data from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research shows the greatest month-on-month increase since January 2017.

The YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index stands at 108.2 this month – up from 107.1 in December. Any score over 100 means more consumers are confident than unconfident, but the figure is still below where it was 12 months ago (when it stood at 109.8).

The data is compiled via 6,000 monthly interviews with respondents asked about various aspects of household finances, property prices, job security and business activity. People are less confident about job security, business activity and house prices, but more confident about household finances in general.

Nina Skero, head of macroeconomics at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said: “Higher than expected GDP figures, a drop in inflation and now an uptick in consumer confidence – the new year is off to a promising start. With household finances and upcoming business activity metrics both on the rise, the 2018 slowdown that many had expected looks less likely to materialise. At Cebr, we expect the UK’s economic performance this year to remain broadly in line with that seen in 2017. It’s not all good news though, as consumers remain doubtful about job security and future house prices.”

The index had hit a four-year low in December and many economists were predicting a prolonged decline, thanks to higher inflation and stagnating wage growth.

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