COVID-19: Consumer confidence climbs to highest level in a year - survey

·1-min read

Consumer confidence has recovered to its highest level in a year with households becoming more optimistic about their financial prospects as lockdowns ease, new figures suggest.

A monthly index from market research firm rose from -23 in February to -16 this month - still lower than normal but the highest level since last March.

The report said that the rise was "on the back of well-received budget announcements, the successful vaccine roll-out and roadmaps in place for ending lockdown".

It comes a day after the Bank of England said the easing of coronavirus restrictions meant consumer spending should bounce back a bit more quickly than it previously thought, and that the rise in unemployment might not be as bad as feared.

The uptick in the monthly GfK survey is the second in a row and comes after consumer confidence slumped last year, with lockdowns crushing economic activity and GDP experiencing its sharpest annual fall for three centuries.

The report said household expectations for the economic outlook and personal finances had improved rapidly this month, with the latter hitting a three-year high.

GfK client strategy director Joe Staton said: "If this improved mood translates into spending, it might help reverse some of the economic damage the UK has suffered.

"It's highly likely this upward trajectory on all measures will build over the next six months and beyond."