Consumer confidence hits nine-year high

Consumer confidence reached a nine-year high in April as forecasts for UK economic growth continue to provide cheer but brands have been warned that optimism about the strengthening economy is still not being matched by an uplift in people’s own financial circumstances. 

Consumer confidence hits seven-year high, finds GFK.

GFK’s monthly consumer confidence tracker increased three points to 0 in April – the first time it has climbed out of the red since April 2005.

The driver of the increase was the ranking given to the current state of the economy, which increased 8 points month on month.

News of increasing consumer confidence comes on the same day as two separate reports added to growing optimism about the UK economy. The CBI says business activity across the manufacturing, retail and service industries grew 35 per cent this month – up ten percentage points on April and the best return since the CBI began measuring growth in 2003.

Separately, the British Chambers of Commerce upgraded its growth forecast from 2.8 per cent to 3.1 per cent for 2014 – the highest rate of growth since 2007, before the financial crash.

People’s verdicts about their own circumstances are less rosy, however.  GFK described the 1 point increase in its index measuring changes to people’s financial situation to -10 as “anaemic”.

Brands have been buoyed by better economic news. The latest Bellwether report found the number setting marketing budgets higher this year at a seven-year high, while the number of marketing job vacancies increased 7 per cent in April, according to recruiter Rober Walters. 

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