Consumer confidence falls amid pessimism for year ahead

Consumer confidence fell in April amid pessimism about personal finances and the general economic situation for the year ahead.

GfK's long-running Consumer Confidence Index dropped by two points to minus nine to reach 28 consecutive months in negative territory.

The survey found consumers' view of the UK's general economic situation remains low and revealed a significant drop in the measure of confidence around personal finances, both for the last 12 months and the year ahead.

The measure relating to security in day-to-day finances and consumers' plans to shop and spend fell by four points this month to minus one - two points lower than this time last year, while the forecast for the next 12 month fell six points to positive four.

Confidence around the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months fell three points to minus 29, while expectations for the coming year fell two points to minus 24.

The major purchase index, an indicator of confidence in spending on big ticket items, was the only measure to record an increase, up one point to positive three, but remains four points lower than this time last year.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: "We now have 28 consecutive months without a positive overall index score.

"Despite the headline news proclaiming that UK wages rose faster than inflation, that there's no imminent interest rate rise on the horizon and that we enjoy record high levels of employment, the index continues to bump along stubbornly in negative territory with a two point slide to minus nine this April.

"As consumers, we need to see clear evidence with our own eyes - in our bank balances and pay packets - that balmier economic climes have returned."

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