January 31, 2014 / 7:37 AM / 6 years ago

British consumer morale soars to highest since 2007

LONDON (Reuters) - British consumer confidence surged in January to its highest level since 2007 after falling for three months, a survey showed on Friday.

GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence Index rose in January to -7 from December’s -13, its best reading since September 2007, around the start of the financial crisis.

Britain’s economy enjoyed a strong finish to 2013, growing 0.7 percent from October through December, rounding off its best year of growth for six years.

The recovery has been largely driven by housing and the consumer sector, and Friday’s survey suggested that has further to run.

GfK said its index has risen by 20 points in the last nine months - only the third time in a 40-year series that there has been such a sharp shift.

“All this is good news for the government as the election starts to get within sight,” said Nick Moon, managing director of social research at GfK, referring to next year’s general election.

GfK’s survey showed increases across all of its measures of confidence, including a strong rise in consumer expectations for the economic situation over the next 12 months.

Although housing and consumers have driven Britain’s economic recovery so far, the Bank of England has warned that exports and business investment will need to strengthen in 2014 for growth to last.

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