Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

U.K. Consumers Just Had Their Happiest Year in Four Decades

  • Measure of personal finances outlook highest since Nov. 2007
  • Low inflation, increasing wages are boosting spending power

U.K. consumers have just had their most positive year since 1974, according to GfK.

The company’s monthly household sentiment index has been above zero every month this year, it said in London on Tuesday. While there have been higher individual readings, 2015 marks the first full calendar year where every month was above zero since records began in 1974 -- when The Godfather Part II was in cinemas and Carl Douglas had everybody Kung Fu Fighting.

The upbeat mood reflects falling unemployment and the fact that wage growth outpaced inflation throughout 2015. Consumers have helped to power the U.K. economy to 11 straight quarters of growth, and GfK said they were the most confident in the outlook for their personal finances in December since late 2007.

However, with signs that growth momentum is cooling, their view of the economy over the next year was unchanged and they became less inclined to make a large purchase compared with November.

“Consumer confidence has remained strong for all of 2015,” said Joe Staton of GfK. “This is the first time since the consumer confidence barometer started in 1974 that the index has remained positive for an entire calendar year.”

GfK’s main sentiment index gained 1 point to 2 in December, according to the report. The personal finance measure climbed 3 points to 9, its strongest reading since November 2007. The company questioned 2,001 people between Dec. 1 and Dec. 14.

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