LONDON (Reuters) - British consumer morale hit its highest in more than a year in August as peoples’ growing confidence in an economic recovery drove expectations to a near 2-year high, according to survey results released on Wednesday.
The Nationwide Consumer Confidence index rose to 63 in August from an upwardly-revised 61 in July, the highest since May 2008 and reflecting Britons’ more upbeat view on current and future conditions as well as a greater willingness to spend. “The rise in positive sentiment across all the indices is no surprise as a number of key economic indicators continue to show that we may have reached the bottom of the current recessionary cycle,” said the mortgage lender’s chief economist Martin Gahbauer.
The expectations index, which gauges peoples’ sentiment about the economy, jobs and their own finances in 6 months’ time, rose to 94 from 91 in July — the highest since September 2007, when the credit crunch kicked off. The present situation index improved modestly to 17 from 16 in July, but still suggests that Britons are overwhelmingly downbeat about the current climate, with more than 70 percent of respondents describing the current jobs and economic situation as “bad.”
The spending index rose to 97 percent from 96 percent.
Reporting by Fiona Shaikh; editing by Stephen Nisbet