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Consumer confidence in five-point slump

By Josie Clarke

Consumer confidence has fallen amid a "gloomy" outlook and a sharp cut-back in spending plans, according to a study.

The GfK Consumer Confidence Index saw a five-point drop on the back of a two-point decline in October, taking it to minus eight, with all five measures taking a tumble.

According to the study, the slump suggests consumers feel uncertain about the future.

Despite recent strong retail sales, the index showed a nine-point drop in plans for major purchases, spelling bad news for retailers as they gear up for Christmas.

The index, which was compiled on behalf of the European Commission, also pointed to a two-point decrease in changes to personal finances during the past year and a four-point decline for the same measure in the year ahead.

The measure for the general economic situation during the past 12 months dropped six points - 19 points lower than this time last year - and fell by five points for the year ahead.

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