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--UK August GfK Consumer Confidence Index -7 Vs -10 July
By Jai Lakhani
     LONDON (MNI) - UK consumer confidence recovered from June and July's
declines to return to May's level of -7, the latest GfK survey found.
     The rise in August's Gfk Consumer Confidence Index was driven by four of
the five components, with only the 'general economic situation over the next 12
months' measure remaining unchanged, at -26. The 'Major Purchase' Index rose by
eight points to +6, its first positive reading since May.
     Perceptions of households' personal finances over the last twelve months
were up three points to +4, whilst the sub-index measuring confidence regarding
personal finances over the next 12 months gained one point to +8. This likely
reflects the rise in earnings over the last 12 months, which appears to be
continuing steadily.
     According to Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, UK consumers may
be ignoring Brexit concerns for now. "Consumers are no doubt aware of the
incessant Brexit noise ... But are consumers putting their hands over their ears
and quietly saying 'Let's just wait-and-see'? We are just months away from the
Brexit crunch but there is no sign (yet) of any crash in consumer confidence,"
said Staton.
     The major purchase indicator, measuring consumers' perceptions of when is a
good time to buy items such as furniture and electrical goods, surged by eight
points to +6, significantly above the 12-month rolling average of +0.62.
However, the limitation of this measure is that it does not ask individuals if
they themselves would make major purchases now, but rather whether it is a good
time for UK consumers in general to do so.
     The UK Consumer Confidence Survey was conducted by GfK between August 1 and
August 15 on behalf of the European Commission.
--MNI London Bureau; +44 203 865 3828; email:
[TOPICS: MABDS$,M$B$$$,M$E$$$]

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