Consumer confidence hits new low

Consumer confidence hits new low
Consumer confidence hits new low

UK consumer confidence has fallen to a new low, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Eighty-four per cent of people polled by Nielson for the BRC said the UK was already in recession - up from 65 per cent in May.

Only 18 per cent think the recession will be over by the end of the year.

A total of 60 per cent of people said their own personal finances are 'not so good' or 'bad', 69 per cent of people said now was 'not a good time' or a 'bad time' to buy the things they want or need and 70 per cent said they thought their job prospects were 'not so good' or 'bad'.

Concerns over issues such as immigration, health, crime and terrorism have dropped off the agenda - with 39 per cent saying that their biggest or second biggest concern was increasing utility bills.

All of the top ranking concerns were in relation to the increasing cost of living, debt and the wider economy.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: "With only one in five people believing recession will be over this time next year, it's certainly going to be a tough Christmas and New Year.

"But there are reasons for optimism. The Bank of England's shock rate cut should get the economy's heart beating again. Some key costs are falling, bringing shop prices down, and retailers are fighting back with promotions and price cuts. This can be good time to be a customer."

Justin Sargent, managing director of Nielsen, added: "This survey reflects the pressures that shoppers have been feeling personally on a daily basis and highlights just how widespread concern is over the burden of increased bills and prices.

"Add to that worries over debt and jobs and we see consumer confidence, unsurprisingly, hit new lows. With inflation and interest rates falling Nielsen expect consumers to regain some confidence, though caution will remain."

Nationwide consumer confidence index last week showed an eight per cent rise - reflecting a rise in morale following the government's bank rescue plans and the Bank of England's October 0.5 per cent interest rate cut.

However, confidence in the present economic situation fell by ten per cent, Nationwide found.


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