Consumer confidence rose in January and people are more optimistic about the outlook for themselves and the economy.

Gfk NOP’s monthly Consumer Confidence Index, compiled for the European Commission, showed a two point improvement since December to -17.

Although still in negative territory, the index is 20 points higher than in January 2009.

The measurement of expectations about consumers’ personal financial situation was up one point since December to +4, an 18 point year-on-year rise.

Confidence in the general economic situation rose by four points month on month to -2 – up 46 points on January 2009. Attitudes to making major purchases were stable month-on-month at -16, 11 points up year on year.

Singer analyst Matthew McEachran said: “Taken alongside the news about he country edging out of recession, a further uptick appears viable next month.

“An uptick of just one point would take confidence back to levels last reported at the end of 2007.”