U.K. consumer confidence rose to its highest in more than two years this month as a brightening economy made Britons more willing to spend on big-ticket items.
A consumer sentiment index by GfK NOP Ltd. gained one point to minus 21, the best reading since May 2011, the London-based group said in a report published today. A gauge of the economic outlook for the coming year climbed 2 points to minus 16. A measure of whether now is the right time to make major purchases jumped 5 points to minus 20.
While the economy is showing signs of strength after resuming growth in the first quarter, data yesterday showed Britons’ disposable income plunged the most in 26 years in the first quarter as inflation outpaces pay growth. Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, who retires on June 30, said this week that a recovery “is in sight,” though it’s “too weak to be satisfactory.”
“The overall trend in confidence over the last year is clearly upwards,” said Nick Moon, managing director of social research at GfK. “So the paradox is that while we are getting worse and worse off, we are feeling more positive,”
GfK surveyed 2,007 people from May 31 to June 16.