UK consumer confidence has risen to its highest level since the onset of the 2008 financial crash with a sixth straight quarter of growth taking the country above the global average for the first time since 2006.
The UK Consumer Confidence Index, compiled by Nielsen, rose to 99 points over the second quarter of 2015, up from 97 in the first quarter, leap frogging the comparative global figure which dipped from 97 to 96 over the same period.
Burgeoning optimism has seen the country overtake continental powerhouse Germany (97) for the first time in five years to make Britain the most positive nation in Europe, behind only Denmark (104), following an improved outlook on job prospects and personal finances.
This was in sharp contrast to Greece which saw its confidence decline 12 points to 53.
Nielsen UK & Ireland managing director Steve Smith explained the factors contributing to a more positive outlook: “Consumers in the UK are feeling ever more confident. Wage inflation is starting to outstrip price inflation for the first time in years, while mortgage rates are at historically low levels and unemployment has generally been falling.
“This positivity is reflected in the cornerstone of household budgets: grocery spending. The number of UK consumers switching to cheaper grocery brands in order to save money is at its lowest level (30 per cent) since late 2009. This is an encouraging sign for retailers that consumer purse-strings may be starting to loosen.”
Nielsen obtained its figures by measuring attitudes amongst 30,000 internet consumers in 60 countries with any score above 100 indicating a degree of optimism.