• Britons' outlook for spending and the economy improves
  • Index on climate for major purchases highest since Jan. 2006

U.K. consumer confidence rose to match a 15-year high this month as Britons’ outlook for their personal finances and for the broader economy improved, according to GfK.

The company’s sentiment index climbed 3 points to 7 from July, the same reading as in June, when it was at its highest level since January 2000.

Buoyed by a strengthening property market, low inflation and rising wages, British consumers have helped the U.K. economy to ten straight quarters of growth, overcoming weak external demand. The Bank of England kept its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.5 percent this month as Governor Mark Carney predicted a bout of “muted” retail-price gains.

“Confidence in the future for both our personal financial and general economic situations for the next 12 months remains strong,” said Joe Staton, head of Market Dynamics at GfK. "Consumers now believe that the U.K. economic recovery is robust, we’re in the black and that prospects for growth are fact and not fiction.”

The survey of 2,000 Britons between Aug. 1 and Aug. 15 showed measures of their opinion of the U.K economy’s performance in the past year and over the next 12 months both increased 4 points to 3. A measure of their willingness to make major purchases such as a washing machine rose 6 points to 17, the highest since January 2006.

GfK’s gauge of peoples’ sentiment toward their personal financial situation in the coming 12 months rose 1 point to 7. Its index on personal finances in the past 12 months dropped 1 point to 3.

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