Consumer confidence in July rose to its highest level since April 2010 as consumers felt more positive about the economy and their finances.
According to GfK data, consumer confidence surged from -29 in July 2012 to -16 this month, with four of the five month-on-month measures increasing.
Confidence was boosted by the warm weather, according to GfK associate director Donna Culverwell.
GfK also found that over the last three months the index has jumped by 11 points – the best single quarter improvement since the index began in 1974.
The Consumer Confidence Barometer found that people’s confidence towards their own personal finance situation over the next 12 months has improved. The index advanced by 7 points, from -7 to 0, month-on-month. On a year-on-year basis, the index increased 8 points.
People’s confidence in the UK economy has also improved, with the index showing a rise of 7 points to -35 month-on-month, and by 24 points compared with July 2012 when it was -59.
GfK social research managing director Nick Moon said: “There is now no doubt that consumer confidence has recovered strongly from the unparalleled trough of the last five years.
“It is significant that since December 2012 there has been only one month where the index fell, and even that was a minor one point drop.
“With a series like the index it is the longer-term changes that mean far more than one single month’s figures, and the current trend is definitely upwards.
“This can be seen clearly from the 12-month moving average which started the year at -29, rose to -28 by February, to -27 by May, -26 in June and it is now at -25. Given that the 12-month moving average was either -29 or -30 for the whole of 2012 this is a very dramatic change.”
While consumers’ propensity to make major purchases has worsened month-on-month, with the index showing a one point fall in July to -21, the year-on-year measurement jumped by five points.