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Retail

UK Consumer Confidence Rises In March As Wages Climb

The country may have been hit by snow and storms in the last month, but that didn't deter UK consumers.

The latest consumer confidence index from research organisation GfK increased three points in March to -7, as higher levels of employment, increased wages, and an improved economic situation gave a boost to shoppers.

"Despite the Beast from the East leaving the nation shivering under a blanket of snow, stoic UK consumers turned faintly bullish this March," said Joe Staton, head of experience innovation at GfK UK.

"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."

"Consumers are feeling a tiny spring in their step – let’s see next month if April showers dampen the mood."

Consumer Resilience

Clive Black, analyst at Shore Capital, added that UK consumer confidence is now at its highest level since May 2017, showing "the resilience of consumers".

"The recent economic datasets suggest slightly better news for the consumer with low unemployment, stable employment levels, together with an easing in inflation, which suggests to us that living standards are starting to stabilise and then should start to grow during the second half of 2018," Black added.

"Rising living standards will have, in our view, a positive effect on consumer confidence."

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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