Consumer confidence has risen as the UK attempts to climb out of the “pit of economic pessimism”.

The GfK UK Consumer Confidence Index rose five points to -22 month on month in May with four of the five measures increasing.

The survey found consumers were eight points more positive about the forthcoming 12 months’ economic climate at -18. They were also positive about their personal finances over the last 12 months, the next year and the general economic situation over the last year.

The climate for major purchases remained flat month on month at -25, up from -32 last year.

GfK managing director of social research Nick Moon said: “There are now some real signs that consumers, while hardly confident, are moving out of the feeling of despondency that the country has been mired in for the last year or so. The current figure of -22 is fully seven points higher than in any month of 2012, other than the -22 observed in November which we have to assume was a “blip”.

“The 12-month moving average, always a good measure of the underlying trend, was -29 at the start of 2012, -30 in the middle, and -29 again at the end. So far in 2013 it has risen to -28 and now
-27, underlining this sense of improvement.”

He added: “But before we get too carried away, we should note that, even after this rise, the index is still lower than it was for the whole of 2010, and massively worse than it was for an entire decade from 1997 to 2007.

“We may be climbing out of the pit of economic pessimism, but there’s a long way to go until the public becomes neutral, let alone positive.”