January 30, 2018 / 12:08 AM / 10 months ago

UK consumers turn more confident at start of 2018 - YouGov/Cebr

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers browse for bargains in the Boxing Day sales at Selfridges in London, Britain December 26, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The confidence of British households rose at the fastest pace in a year in January, suggesting the Brexit-bound economy might hold up better than expected again this year, according to a survey published on Tuesday.

Polling firm YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a consultancy, said their consumer confidence index rose to 108.2 from 107.1 in December, helped by growing optimism among households about their finances.

However, the index remained well below its levels of around 114 before the Brexit vote in June 2016.

“We expect the UK’s economic performance this year to remain broadly in line with that seen in 2017,” Nina Skero, CEBR’s head of macroeconomics, said.

“It’s not all good news though, as consumers remain doubtful about job security and future house prices,” Skero said.

Britain grew more quickly in 2017 than most economists predicted at the time of the referendum.

However, it lagged behind other rich economies as consumers felt the pinch from the spike in inflation caused by the Brexit vote and slow wage growth, and companies waited for clarity about the country’s future ties with the European Union.

After expanding by 1.8 percent in 2017, most forecasters expect a slowdown in growth to around 1.4 percent in 2018, according to a Reuters poll of economists this month. [ECILT/GB]

The survey was conducted in the first three weeks of January and was based on responses from around 4,500 people, YouGov said.

Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce

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