Britons more upbeat about financial prospects for 2018 - survey

More figures show consumer confidence has jumped as Britons report optimism about their financial prospects for the year, according to a long-running survey.

GfK's consumer confidence index increased by four points in January to minus nine in a "surprisingly upbeat note", with all five of the survey's measures showing a rebound in optimism.

However GfK cautioned that the overall figure remains lower than this time last year, when it stood at minus five, and said the "off trend" number could be a temporary blip rather than a strong sign of recovery.

Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, said: "Having survived Christmas, New Year, the January Sales and Blue Monday, bullish Brits report a more upbeat view of their financial prospects for 2018 this month.

"From expectations for their personal financial situation to the outlook for the UK economy and major purchase index, we are reporting a rebound in levels of optimism across the board after two years of the Overall Index Score sitting at zero or in negative territory."

But he added: "With 2018 still in its infancy, and with a great deal of uncertainty in store, there could be more turbulence in the consumer mood this year and next."

The major purchase index, which indicates confidence in spending on big-ticket items, saw the biggest jump in January with a five-point increase.

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months increased by four points to positive six, one point lower than this time last year.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months also increased, by two points to minus 29, while the same measure for the next 12 months increased by four points to minus 24 - one point lower than this time last year.

The savings index, which does not contribute to the overall score, also increased by six points to positive 10 in January, 12 points higher than the same time last year.

The GfK figures follow the YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index seeing its largest month-on-month jump since January 2017, rising to 108.2 from 107.1 in December.

They build on a recent slew of bright economic data, with UK gross domestic product (GDP) growing by a better-than-expected 0.5% in the fourth quarter and inflation rolling back to 3% in December.

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