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Consumer confidence dips for second time in 2014

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Consumer confidence has dropped for the second time in 2014, according to the Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report for September, though sentiment remains fairly positive.

According to the report consumer confidence in the UK’s economic situation fell 15 points from August to September, reflecting a level of uncertainty in the run-up to the Scottish Referendum. In addition spending on essentials fell for the third month in a row, perhaps due in part to the supermarket price war.

Patrick Foley, chief economist at Lloyds Bank, said: “While confidence has moderated a little this month, consumer sentiment remains positive overall, reflecting the signs of a continued economic recovery. Though wage growth remains only muted, with essential expenditure placing less demand on household finances, consumers are finding more scope for discretionary spending.”

Feelings towards the housing market have remained stable since June, while British attitudes towards employment saw an eight point decline in September to -26 per cent. According to Lloyds this could be due to low wage growth.

Consumer sentiment about their own personal finance situation remains positive at 18 per cent, though in London optimism dove 22 percentage points to end at -14 per cent. In the West Midlands, however, sentiment increased by 21 per cent.

Greg Coughlan, director of personal current accounts, added: “Despite the decline in sentiment we have seen this month, this is only the second dip of 2014. Overall we have instead noticed a continued improvement in consumer confidence throughout the course of the year, especially as consumers report stability in their own finances. The decline in spending over the last few months also shows that people are becoming more savvy with their money.”

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