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U.K. Confidence Falls as Consumers Brace for Income Squeeze

  • Rising inflation and tax increases fan cost-of-living crisis
  • Lower confidence likely to hit retail sales ahead of Christmas

U.K. consumer confidence fell at its sharpest pace since coronavirus lockdown rules were tightened almost a year ago, reflecting a surge in inflation and looming tax increases.

September’s 5-point drop to minus 13 was the biggest decline since October 2020, according to data from the market research firm GfK. It came amid fears of a “potential cost of living crisis,” with households facing surging food and fuel costs, the end of furlough benefits and a 12 billion-pound ($16.5 billion) tax raid from April to pay for health and social care.