Belfast Telegraph

Consumer confidence given boost in March

By Josie Clarke

Consumer confidence made a healthy jump despite bad weather during March as shoppers turned "faintly bullish" amid the prospect of wage rises and movement on Brexit.

GfK's long-running Consumer Confidence Index rose by three points with increases across the board on personal finances, the general economy and spending intentions.

The core score remains in negative territory at minus seven, but GfK described the uptick as "definitely a movement in the right direction".

Joe Staton, head of experience innovation UK at GfK, said: "Despite the Beast from the East leaving the nation shivering under a blanket of snow, stoic UK consumers turned faintly bullish this March with a three-point uptick in the overall index score to minus seven.

"Spring is in the air with increases across the board on personal finances, the general economy, over the last year and next year, and on current major purchase intentions.

"The prospect of wage rises finally outstripping declining inflation, high levels of employment with low-level interest rates and finally some movement on the Brexit front appear to have boosted our spirits.

"It's still a little early to be talking about green shoots, and the core score is of course still negative, but this is definitely a movement in the right direction."

Belfast Telegraph

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