Consumer confidence slipped in October to one of its lowest ever levels.

Gfk NOP’s Consumer Confidence Index fell two points during the month to -32, a level only breached three times since the survey began in 1974.

Consumers’ sentiment about their personal financial situation over the next 12 months was stable month-on-month, but confidence in the general economic outlook fell four points over the same period.

Sentiment towards making major purchases was also down.

Managing director of GfK NOP Social Research Nick Moon said:”The latest index shows consumer confidence at its 10th lowest figure since it began.

“It is only the third occasion that it has breached -32. On both previous occasions - June 2008 and March 1990 - consumer confidence was entering periods of sustained weakness and the UK economy was going into recession.”

He warned: “Consumers’ outlook is becoming increasingly pessimistic about the UK’s general economic situation over the coming year.”