Consumer confidence in the UK continued to increase in October, but levels remain fragile.

GfK NOP’s monthly survey for the EU showed that UK consumer confidence hit its highest level since January 2008 last month. Shopper attitudes about the
“climate for major purchases” reached its best point since November 2007.

Improving sentiment was also reflected in the six-monthly study by market researcher Nielsen and the British Retail Consortium, which recorded the highest level of confidence for 18 months.

GfK NOP consumer confidence team member Rachael Joy said that while the confidence index was still in negative territory, “we have not now seen a drop in the monthly confidence rating throughout 2009 - indicating a steady, if cautious, uplift in British confidence in our economic situation”.

Nielsen managing director Justin Sargent said: “The latest poll shows that the confidence of the nation continues to improve, though consumers remain very guarded and we are still a long way from the confidence levels we saw prior to the economic meltdown.”