LONDON (Reuters) - British consumer morale held steady for a third straight month in March, remaining 5 points higher than at the same time last year, a survey by market researchers GfK NOP showed on Thursday.
GfK's headline consumer confidence index came in at -26, unchanged from the previous two months and largely in line with analysts' expectations for a reading of -27.
The series, which has been running since 1974, hit a record low of -39 in July 2008 and oscillated around the -29 mark for most of last year.
"It does now begin to seem that the British public's mood has climbed slightly out of the very deep trough it was in for almost all of 2012," said Nick Moon, managing director of social research at GfK.
The survey of 2,000 people was carried out by GfK on behalf of the European Commission between March 1 and 10, before a controversial bailout by international lenders was agreed for Cyprus, penalising richer bank depositors.
(Reporting by Christina Fincher; editing by Stephen Nisbet)
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