Queen's Jubilee fails to lift UK consumer mood: GFK
LONDON (Reuters) - The extra holiday and festivities for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee failed to lift the spirits of Britain's consumers, a survey from researchers GfK NOP showed on Friday.
GfK NOP's headline consumer confidence index held steady at -29 in June, in line with forecasts in a Reuters economist poll.
"Any suggestions that consumer confidence would receive a 'Royal bounce' from the Jubilee, as it did from William and Kate's wedding last year, have been proven wrong," said Nick Moon, managing director of GfK NOP Social Research.
"The stagnant level of consumer confidence suggests that the public is stuck in a period of constant depression," he said.
Moon added that the index has not been above the -29 mark since June last year, the worst run in the survey's 40-year history.
The GfK survey lends further support to Bank of England governor Mervyn King's dire warning that Britain faced the danger of a downward spiral as companies and consumers held back spending because of fear over the economic outlook.
While the GfK survey showed that consumers were less reluctant to buy bigger items such as furniture or electrical goods, their assessment of the economic outlook worsened.
Britons have been cutting back consumer spending in the wake of the 2008/2009 slump because unemployment rose and high inflation ate away meagre wage increases.
The government and the Bank have hoped that falling inflation would provide more households with the scope to increase spending this year.
But BoE governor King said the raging euro zone debt crisis is casting a "black cloud of uncertainty" over businesses and consumers.
However, in a sign that the extra holiday at the beginning of June for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee did have some effect, a survey by the CBI business lobby showed that retailers reported the fastest sales rise since late 2010 in June.
GfK's consumer survey was conducted between June 8 and June 17, and was carried out by GfK NOP on behalf of the European Commission.
(Reporting by Sven Egenter; editing by Ron Askew)
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