February 25, 2011 / 6:36 AM / 9 years ago

Consumer confidence edges up in February - GfK

A shopper sits with bags on Oxford Street as the winter sales start before Christmas in London December 24, 2010. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - Consumer confidence edged higher this month from January’s 22-month low after a slight recovery in shoppers’ personal financial situation and willingness to make big purchases, a survey showed on Friday.

The GfK NOP consumer confidence index rose to -28 from January’s -29, but is well below the level of -14 this time last year as shoppers face rising prices and sluggish wage growth, while public-sector spending cuts put jobs at risk.

“While the government will be relieved that consumer confidence has levelled out, such a small increase indicates that last month’s astonishing figures were not an aberration,” said Nick Moon, managing director of GfK NOP Social Research.

On Thursday the CBI business lobby reported a widening gap in morale between firms reliant on consumer spending and those that benefit from business investment, and its retail sales index fell to an 8-month low.

“With the government’s strategy based heavily on economic growth providing private-sector jobs to replace the ones being cut, they will have to hope that consumer confidence is a less good predictor of the economy than previously,” Moon said.

GfK NOP polled 2,000 Britons between February 4 and February 13 in the survey, which was carried out on behalf of the European Commission.

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