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UK consumer confidence wanes in February - Gfk

By Oliver Haill

Date: Wednesday 28 Feb 2018

UK consumer confidence wanes in February - Gfk

(ShareCast News) - UK consumer confidence slipped lower in February, according to a widely followed survey released on Wednesday.
The GfK survey showed consumer confidence dropped one point to -10 from January, as economists had forecast. But the headline number remained above the -13 level in December.

Consumers' outlook for the next 12 months fell back by two points to -26 having improved slightly a month before.

Gfk noted that shoppers continue to rein in spending in February, with a drop in its major purchase index and the gloomy start to 2018 for many retailers.

"Ongoing concerns about sluggish household income, rising prices paid by consumers in the shops, and the prospect of inflation-busting council tax and interest rate hikes has dented confidence after last month's surprising rally," said GfK's Joe Staton.

"The two-year trend of negative sentiment - the overall index score has bounced between zero and -13 since February 2016 - proves consumers feel pessimistic about the state of household finances and the wider UK economy."

Staton said despite recent positive news about upgraded growth forecasts and some surveys hinting at the promise of higher wage increases for 2018, confidence is likely to remain subdued "until we feel the positive impact on our purses".

With real incomes remaining squeezed and negative, he added consumers "have good reason to feel jittery and depressed".

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