LONDON (MNI) – Consumer confidence fell for the fifth month in a
row in October, hitting an all-time low, according to the latest
Nationwide survey.

The survey showed a sharp deterioration in consumers’ expectations
for both jobs and the economy, but only a slight decline in their
propensity to spend. The data suggest turmoil overseas and the decline
in the near term outlook for the domestic economy have hit consumer
confidence hard, although consumption itself may not suffer so badly.

The headline Nationwide consumer confidence index fell to a new low
of 36 in October from 45 in September. The expectations index, based on
views of employment and the economy six months ahead, plunged to 48 from
September’s 62, also hitting a record low.

The spending index, a measure based on those saying now is a good
time to make major purchases and buy household goods, fell only modestly
to 75 in October from 77 in the prior month.

Only 13% of respondents expected the economic situation to be good
in six months’ time and 38% expected it to be bad, with 47% saying
neither good nor bad.

The bulk of UK consumers expect no change in their household income
six months down the line, with 67% saying it would be the same, 19%
saying it would be lower and 13% higher.

Commenting on the report, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief
Economist, noted the confidence index was more than 40 points below its
long run average of 78 and said “Mounting concerns about the state of
the UK economy was a key factor undermining confidence in October.”

–London newsroom: 4420 7862 7492 email: