Good times roll for retailers as UK consumer confidence hits nine year high

Consumer confidence in the UK is on the rise once more with the latest gauge of retail sector sentiment to be published by Nielsen showing that the proportion of shoppers believing now to be a good time to buy reaching its highest level in nine years.

The closely watched UK Consumer Confidence Index hit 97 in the first quarter, close to the crucial 100 mark marking the separation between optimism and pessimism with a higher number indicating a stronger positive feeling.

The survey found that this has fed through into lower saving with the number of people adjusting their spending habits to save cash reaching its second lowest point on record as the number of respondents believing the UK to still be in recession dropped for the eighth consecutive quarter.

Nielsen UK managing director Steve Smith, said: “Consumer confidence in the UK continues to rise. The UK is one of the fastest growing major economies, unemployment is falling and people are benefiting from zero inflation and lower prices in supermarkets and petrol stations.

“Whilst the majority of people are still cost-cutting – perhaps habitually now – wages, for others, are rising faster than household expenses. This is leading to more optimism about their future spending, so we expect to see confidence continue to rise in 2015.”

The figures were attained by assessing the attitudes of 30,000 consumers in 60 countries.