Improvement in Shoppers’ personal finance coupled with the desire to make big purchases pushed up consumer confidence numbers in February from January’s record 22 month low.
While rising prices and a sluggish wage growth coupled with public sector job cuts are still weighing on the economy, the GfK NOP consumer confidence index rose a notch up to -28 from January’s low of -29, but still much below than -14 recorded in February 2010.
Nick Moon – Managing Director of Gfk NOP Social Research said: “While the government will be relieved that consumer confidence has levelled out, such a small increase indicates that last month’s astonishing figures were not an aberration”.
The confidence gap between companies dependent on consumer spending and those benefit from business investment are widening, complained the CBI business lobby on Thursday as the retail sales index dropped to an eight month low.
“With the government’s strategy based heavily on economic growth providing private-sector jobs to replace the ones being cut, they will have to hope that consumer confidence is a less good predictor of the economy than previously”, added Moon.
The European Commission had sanctioned the survey and Gfk NOP had polled 2,000 Britons between February 4 and February 13.