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Consumer confidence dips over economic worries

Consumer confidence fell "across the board" in November amid continuing concerns about the outlook for the economy, according to new research.

The Consumer Confidence Index from GfK fell by five points this month to minus eight. All five measures used to calculate the index declined.

The Personal Financial Situation Index looking at the last 12 months decreased by two points to one, the same level as November 2015. The index looking at the next 12 months, however, fell by four points to two, leaving it four points down year-on-year.

Confidence about the general economic situation over the last 12 months decreased by six points to minus 25 - 19 points lower than November 2015 - while expectations for the next 12 month decreased by five points to minus 22, down 16 points year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the index measuring confidence about making major purchased dropped by nine points to five, four points lower than last November.

The index asking is now is a good time to save decreased by two points to minus 11, down 12 points year-on-year.

Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, said: "The slump across the board this month points to continuing uncertainty about the state of the economy among consumers.

"Although scores for our personal financial situation just about remain positive, the big theme is the reduced confidence in the UK economy looking back and ahead. We are viewing our economy over the past 12 months with increasing despondency. The decreasing score on the economy for the next 12 months also shows we are resolutely gloomy about the outlook despite strong GDP numbers. The 'next 12 months' figure has been low since the June vote to leave the EU as ongoing economic turmoil, inflationary pressures and global anxiety impact our levels of confidence.

"And is this gloomy mood also affecting spending intentions? Despite recent strong retail sales, we are reporting a sharp nine-point drop in the Major Purchase Index this month and this will be an acute concern for retailers as they gear-up for the key Christmas selling period.

"Many are saying that fears about the British economy have been overstated, but time will tell if the pessimism shown in the index is misplaced or not."

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