–Consumer Confidence Index Down To -17 vs -13 In August

LONDON – An economic confidence report for the European
Commission suggests Thursday’s GfK/NOP UK consumer confidence survey
will show a fall in consumer sentiment for September.

The Business and Consumer Survey for the European Commission is
also compiled by GfK, which will publish its monthly UK consumer
confidence data at 0001 BST Thursday (2301 GMT Wednesday).

GfK reported that UK consumer confidence rose four points to -18 in
August, erasing the falls seen in June and July and marking the first
increase in overall confidence since February. But a fall now appears
likely in September.

In its report for the commission GfK said that the consumer
confidence index for the UK fell back to -17 in September, having risen
to -13 in August from -17 in July. September’s level is the equal lowest
level with July since June 2009 and is down from -2 in February.

The report found that consumers’ view of the UK economic situation
over the next 12 months also worsened, falling to -18 in September
after improving to -10 in August from -18 in July. This is down from +9
in February.

Commenting on the data, Howard Archer, Chief UK and European
Economist at IHS Global Insight said the report suggests UK consumers
will put spending plans on ice going into the autumn and winter months.

“The renewed fall in consumer confidence in September reinforces
the suspicion remains that consumers are likely to find life hard over
the coming months and will be constrained in their spending,” he said.

“The substantial fiscal squeeze will increasingly hit public sector
jobs and consumers’ pockets, while households already face high
unemployment, muted earnings growth and elevated debt levels. In the
near term at least, rising food prices threaten to weigh down on the
purchasing power of poorer consumers in particular,” he added.

–London newsroom 44207 862 7491; email: wwilkes@marketnews.com

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