November 19, 2018 / 9:37 AM / 23 days ago

UK households turn gloomier on finances in November - IHS Markit

A tree covered in autumn foliage is seen with office skyscrapers around it during rainfall in the City of London, Britain, November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Pessimism in British households about their finances hit a five-month high in November and they became increasingly reluctant to spend, but they were more positive about the future, a survey showed on Monday.

The monthly Household Finance Index from data company IHS Markit fell to 44.5 in November from 45.0 the month before, pointing to a decrease in consumers’ financial health, with less than five months to go before Brexit takes place.

The details in the survey, watched by the Bank of England, were mixed.

IHS Markit’s gauge of household spending fell to a 15-month low and households became more downbeat about their job security. But income from jobs continued to rise and households were cheerier about the next 12 months.

Data last week showed inflation was steady last month and wages excluding bonuses rose at the fastest pace since 2008 in nominal terms over the three months to September — factors that ought to help consumer spending power in the months ahead.

“Households still deem current financial conditions to be skewed to the downside,” IHS Markit economist Joe Hayes said.

“Expectations are for a rebound however, with projections towards financial wellbeing over the coming year at their most optimistic since the start of 2015.”

Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Toby Chopra

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