Consumer confidence saw its biggest rise since June between December and January after falls in inflation and utility bills spurred some spending from households and individuals.
In spite of this rise, confidence on the whole remains severely low, thanks largely to the announcement of a 0.2 per cent shrink in GDP last month. The survey, conducted by market researchers GfK NOP said that the ‘ray of light’ provided by the inflation figures as well as a continuation of the festive mood after Christmas could have helped to buoy this month’s figures.
The survey of 2000 people aged 16 and over revealed that hopes for the future economy as well as perceptions of personal finance have improved significantly over the past year.
Nick Moon, director of GfK NOP said in a statement that: “We should treat this month’s modest improvement with caution, consumer confidence remains seriously depressed. Another rise in February could be a sign that the gloom is dispelling, until then we should treat January’s news as good, but not great.”
Moon also pointed out that the Olympics later this year were likely to provide a short term boost, as was the case with the Royal Wedding last year..