Always look on the bright side of life sums up the
remarkable turnaround in optimism this month that boosted the headline GfK NOP
/ European Commission Consumer Confidence Barometer in August.
Following five successive monthly declines, confidence rose
4 points in August to 18, its highest score since May. The main driver behind
the rise is an 11 point rise in optimism about the economic situation. People
also felt that the economy had improved compared to 12 months ago. Both
measures of household finances also rose in the month the measure of expected
households finances up 3 points on the month to 3 and the backward looking
measure, up 2 points to 12.
Despite the strong rise in optimism driven by a sharp
reversal of the surge of expected redundancies in July the spending climate
sub-index measure fell back 4 points to 20. In July it improved 8 points on
the back of summer high street sales. The spending intentions measure on
household goods picked up slightly in August.
Regionally, confidence picked up strongly in the South
following a big drop in July and in the North. Confidence continues to be
weaker outside of England a likely result of the changed political landscape.
A full analysis of the mood of consumers is found in the
August Consumer Confidence Monitor covering personal / household finances,
general economic situation, spending and saving, inflation and jobs. We also
publish a high earners version, and specially tailored reports can be produced
covering regions and demographics.