Photographer: Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images

Britons Put Economic Concerns Aside and Get Ready to Splurge

  • Sentiment toward making major purchases rose in November
  • Low inflation, increasing wages are boosting spending power

Savvy U.K. consumers are taking advantage of low inflation while they can.

According to GfK’s monthly consumer-confidence index, a measure of Britons’ outlook for the economy over the next 12 months dropped in November to the lowest in more than two years. However, with inflation stagnant and wage growth picking up, consumers’ outlook for their personal finances is holding up and they’re becoming more inclined to splurge this Christmas.

The survey reflects how consumers remain the bulwark of economic growth and reinforces the Bank of England’s view of robust domestic demand. The beginning of the holiday shopping season -- marked by Black Friday this week -- may encourage consumers to buy big-ticket items.


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Inside Amazon’s Hemel Hempstead, U.K. fulfillment center.


“Shoppers also continue to tell us that now is the right time to make major purchases,” said Joe Staton of GfK. “Lots of households up and down the land will be sitting on a new three-piece suite this December to watch ‘Downton Abbey’ on an ever wider TV screen while digesting their Christmas turkey and all the trimmings.”

GfK’s consumer sentiment gauge slipped 1 point to 1 in November, according to the report published on Friday. The measure of how Britons see their personal financial situation remained at 6 and the major purchase index jumped to 9 from 7.

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