Consumer confidence creeps upwards

UK consumer confidence has improved for the second month in a row but remains near all-time lows, according to GfK NOP. The consumer confidence index rose by two points to -33 this month suggesting the recent cuts in VAT and interest rates are working.

The rise was led by an increased confidence in making major purchases and comes a day after official figures showed a surprise 0.3% increase in retail sales in November. The survey also reveals that major purchases subindex rose 10 points to -29, but is still 15 points lower than the same period last year.

A spokeswoman say: “The crucial question is whether the improvement in this index will be translated into activity on the high street during the January sales.”

Last month The Government announced cuts in VAT from 17.5% to 15% until the end of next year. The Bank of England has also reduced interest rates from 5.5% in October to 2%.

In November, lower energy costs and retail discounts boosted the GfK NOP index for the first time since August.

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