United Kingdom: Consumer confidence rises for first time since August
January 18, 2011
In December, the consumer confidence index produced by the Nationwide Building Society (NBS) increased to 53 points, which marked the first increase since August and reversed the 8-point drop recorded in November. Consumer sentiment has deteriorated markedly since February last year and, despite December's increase, remains well below its long-term average of 81 points. December's rise in consumer sentiment was broad-based, with increases in all sub-components of the index, although the result primarily reflected a more positive outlook for the next six months. In addition, an increasing number of respondents deemed the present time as appropriate for the purchase of major goods, in particular household items. That said, according to NBS, the improvement likely reflects the projected VAT rise that took place in January, which influenced consumers to expedite their purchases.