Britons 'pessimistic' about economy

Britons are less confident in the economy and their own finances, according to new figures.

The Gfk NOP Consumer Confidence Index saw people's confidence in their own finances fall five points to minus 16 in December.

And consumers did not believe things were going to improve in the next year, with the Index falling one point to minus eight. The figure had stood at plus three last December.

Consumer confidence in the general economy for the past year fell five points to minus 51 during December, while expectations dropped by one point to minus 23, 17 points lower than a year ago.

The only measure of confidence that increased in December was the major purchase index, which jumped by 10 points to minus seven.

The increase was probably due to a combination of festive spending in the run-up to Christmas and people bringing forward major purchases before the January VAT increase to 20%.

But the rise was enough to offset falls across the other four measures of confidence to keep the overall GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index unchanged at minus 21, only two points lower than it was in December last year.

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