The findings from Deloitte’s latest Consumer Tracker reveal consumers are the most optimistic about their disposable income since the study launched in 2011.
Respondents indicated the level of disposable income they had was rising with the net balance of sentiment increasing to -31 per cent during the first quarter of 2013 from from -40 per cent in same period last year. Consumers were also less worried about debt and job security levels with confidence for both rising three per cent compared with the previous quarter.
Over the last quarter, consumers were less likely to cut back on clothing and footwear (-17 per cent vs -23 per cent) and major household appliances (-8 per cent vs -12 per cent).
Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte says: “The macroeconomic environment for consumers is beginning to improve, albeit very slowly. Employment levels are up compared to last year and credit availability has improved. Mortgages have become increasingly available, in part as a result of the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending and the Government’s First Buy and Help to Buy schemes. Inflation has fallen sharply from the peaks seen in late 2011 and this has lent some support to consumer spending power.”
The news comes ahead of Thursday’s (25 April) GDP release, which will reveal whether the UK has slipped into a triple-dip recession.
Meanwhile, the latest data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Online Retail Monitor has revealed total retail search volumes grow 16 per cent between January and March compared with the same period last year.