July 14, 2016 / 10:12 AM / 2 years ago

British consumer confidence slumps after vote to leave EU

LONDON (Reuters) - British consumer confidence fell sharply following the country’s vote to leave the European Union, one for the first indicators to capture the post-referendum mood showed on Thursday.

A customer walks past Arcadia group concessions in a Tesco Extra store in Woolwich, southeast London, Britain February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

The Thomson Reuters/Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 49.4 in July from last month’s 51.2.

Britons voted to leave the European Union on June 23, a shock outcome that sent sterling to a 31-year low and sent many investors across the globe in search of safe havens.

Polling for the index began the day after the vote.

“The impact on confidence is clear to see. It is expectations for the future that have taken the biggest hit, declining to the lowest levels seen in recent years,” said Bobby Duffy, managing director of public affairs at Ipsos MORI.

“This is the pattern we’d expect to see: it’s too early for most people to experience any direct economic impacts from Brexit, but fear for the future is clearly being felt by many.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned of a hit to growth from last month’s decision. The central bank is expected to cut interest rates to a record low of 0.25 percent on Thursday to soften the blow. [BOE/INT]

Reporting by Jonathan Cable; Editing by Ross Finley/Jeremy Gaunt

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