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Consumer confidence rises in February

Consumer confidence has increased two points to –7 this month, according to the latest figures from the GfK.

According to its Consumer Confidence Index, three measures increased, one measure decreased, and one measure remained the same during February. 

The Personal Finance Situation index, which measures changes in personal finances during the last year, was the only measure to decrease, falling by two points to -1.

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months, however, remained unchanged at six points, which is five points higher than the year prior.    

The general economic situation of the country over the last year increased five points to -23, which is ten points higher than February 2019.   

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months also increased three points to -21, which marked a 17 point increase from the year prior. 

The Major Purchase Index also increased, rising by five points to +6, which is one point higher than it was last February. 

Meanwhile, the Savings Index remained the same at 20 points, marking a two point increase from the same period last year. 

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “Against a February backdrop of rising wages and house prices, low unemployment and stable inflation, we report another healthy uptick in consumer confidence this month – the third monthly increase in a row.

“The rise in the Overall Index Score is driven by our increasingly positive view on the state of the UK’s general economy for both the past and the next 12 months.” 

He added: “Despite the fact that consumers have shown some concern about their day-to-day personal finances this month, a big five-point jump in the Major Purchase Index reflects the recent rebound in retail sales, as widely reported.

“Although the Index remains south of positive, the trajectory remains upwards. The only ‘known unknown’ is the potential impact of coronavirus on behaviour, confidence and spending patterns. This is a developing story, watch this space.”

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