UK consumer confidence saw a surprising surge in August, amid continuing concerns of a double dip recession. The leading market research conductor, GfK/NOP, rose four points to -18, stopping the downward trend which was occurring since February. Nick Moon, head of the GfK/NOP, commented on the latest figures for the index, said: “Consumer confidence has been in constant decline for the past five months and a further fall would have made a double dip recession seem a very real prospect. The Government will undoubtedly read these figures with a great deal of relief.”
A significant percentage of the country is of the same belief about the near future of the UK economy. “It is going to do nothing but get better.” The majority of the population believes the country will soon see brighter days, even if their own personal status does not.
Moon advised using caution when reading anything into this, though. He remarked: “This gain merely reverses a large drop in July. Confidence in the economy’s future prospects remains below its June level and is similar to May 2009 when we were still in the grips of recession.” This index figure mirrors levels seen during the credit crisis as well as the three day work weeks of the 1970′s.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) commented about the job market in the UK, warning that it will be extremely weak over the next 5 years. The fast paced growth of the second quarter this year - almost 1.2 per cent – has revived faith in the near future, but Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight said many land mines exist. He commented on part of the austerity measures, saying: “The fiscal squeeze will increasingly hit public sector jobs and consumers’ pockets. Households already have elevated debt.”