UK consumer confidence highest in four years

<p>People in the UK are more optimistic about their finances than they have been since records began in 2011.</p>

Brits are more upbeat about their finances than they have been in at least four years, research has indicated.

According to the latest data from Deloitte's consumer tracker, UK consumer confidence for the three months to September was at its highest level since records began in 2011. 

Low inflation and rising pay packets during the third quarter meant that many households were less concerned about market turmoil over the summer.

The survey, which measures six criteria including job opportunities, career progression and perceptions about debt, showed positive results in all areas compared to the previous quarter.

Some 3,000 households were polled for the research and they indicated that the market turbulence in August – when £74 billion was wiped off the FTSE 100 in a single day due to worries about the Chinese economy – had been brushed aside.

Deloitte said that record employment and stronger wage growth led to people spending more money on eating out and leisure activities. Many also felt optimistic about their job prospects in the coming months.

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte explained: "UK consumers seem unperturbed by financial market and emerging economy weakness that have dampened sentiment in the corporate sector. For consumers the good news on rising real wages and improving job security trump the bad news from the global economy."

He also noted that consumers are saving less now than at any time in the last five years and borrowing has been on the up throughout the year.

In September, inflation as measured by the consumer prices index fell into negative numbers. It is expected to remain close to zero for the rest of the year. This will also benefit consumer confidence for the rest of the year, Mr Stewart explained.

"Rising real incomes, more borrowing and lower levels of saving give UK consumers the wherewithal to keep spending. Household expenditure is set to remain the engine of UK growth over the next year," he said.

BRC research

Deloitte's findings are backed up by a separate survey from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). That research indicated the recent slump in UK high street shoppers eased in September.

Footfall in September fell by 0.2 per cent compared with a year ago. This is an improvement on the 1.6 per cent fall in August. It's also above the three-month average of -0.9 per cent.

Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.