U.K. Consumer Confidence Increases as New Year Brings Hope

  • YouGov/Cebr measure gains to 108.2 from 107.1 in December
  • Gauge of home’s finances in past month climbs most in 3 years

Shoppers exit a clothing store in London,

Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Britons are starting 2018 with renewed optimism as a measure of consumer confidence rose by the most in a year in January.

The jump was driven by the biggest increase in households’ assessment of their financial position in the past month since November 2014, according to YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research. The firms’ overall index of sentiment climbed to 108.2 in January, from 107.1 previously.

The nation has had a number of reasons to be cheerful this month, ranging from better-than-expected growth and a slight easing of inflation. The pound gained on speculation that a Brexit deal can be reached.

Still, the U.K. is far from out of the woods, with the headline measure of confidence still below the 109.8 level it was at in January 2017. Expectations for house prices and job security over the next 12 months all fell, according to the survey.

“Higher-than-expected GDP figures, a drop in inflation and now an uptick in consumer confidence -- the new year is off to a promising start,” said Nina Skero, Head of Macroeconomics at the Cebr. “With household finances and upcoming business activity metrics both on the rise, the 2018 slowdown that many had expected looks less likely to materialize.”

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