Consumer confidence was stable in May but remains fragile.

For the first time since February, GfK NOP’s Consumer Confidence Index did not record a rise. However, there will still be relief that confidence has not begun to decline again. The index, compiled for the European Commission, held steady at -27 for May.

GfK NOP consumer confidence team member Rachael Joy said: “This is still very low historically but is at least standing firm in the face of continuing depressed markets and May’s warnings of a possible pandemic.

“Worries about job losses and harder times are still very much alive but the UK appears to be stoical about the continuing economic situation.”

Consumers’ confidence in their personal finances over the next 12 months rose two points month on month in May to reach -1. In May 2008 the figure was -4.

Expectations about the general economic outlook in the next year slipped one point to -16, against -39 in May 2008.