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Consumer confidence in the UK hits a 9 year high, according to Nielsen

Published:  01 June, 2015

UK consumer confidence, which rose for the fifth consecutive quarter, hit the highest level in nine years according to Nielsen's most recent figures.

Steve Smith, Nieslen UK's managing director 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."

The UK Consumer Confidence Index hit 97 in the first quarter of 2015, which is the highest point it has been since Q1 2006.

The data is a result of Nielsen's Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions report, which has been measuring consumer attitudes since 2005. The measurements for the survey are the results of 30,000 internet consumers across 60 countries that share their attitudes about three specific economies.

Three key measurements of consumer attitudes' that were particularly positive in the UK were that that portion of consumers willing to spend money is at the highest level on record, the portion of consumers who believe the UK is in a recession is at the lowest point on record and the positivity about job prospects and personal finances are at a seven and half year high.

Some of the rise in consumer confidence may be in part related to the rise in consumers' real disposable incomes as food deflation has taken hold and energy prices have dropped dramatically over the past six months, benefiting consumers pocketbooks.

Last month's Kantar Worldpanel figures show that for the 12 weeks leading up to May, supermarkets have lost out on £532m in revenue compared to the the same time last year because of price deflation.

However, despite the relatively high consumer confidence levels, according to the Centre for Retail Research it may not be time to pop that Champagne cork just yet. It cautioned that the UK economy although clearly headed in the right direction, is dependent on other global economies including the US and Europe. 

The EU economies have been stagnating for several months, but according to a Financial Times piece last week, all EU economies are set to expand for the first time since the crisis.

The US economy contracted 0.7% int he first quarter according to most recent US Commerce Department figures that were last week. The contraction was due primarily to a strong dollar and a falling oil prices.