UK consumer confidence recorded a surprise jump to its highest level since January 2008 in September.

The GfK NOP consumer confidence index leaped 9 points to -16, one of its biggest-ever monthly increases. The index had been level at -25 since June.

Though still in negative territory, this is the highest level the index has been at since the beginning of 2008.

In addition to the overall figure, all of the individual elements of the index also improved in September. GfK NOP Social Research managing director Nick Moon said this made it less likely that the findings were a statistical blip.

  • Confidence in the “general economic situation” over the next year rose 13 points to “+4”, its highest level since May 1998.

  • Respondents’ confidence in their own personal finances over the next year also rose — up five points to “+5”, 16 points higher than this time last year

  • Consumers said they were more confident about making “major purchases”, up 11 points to “-15”.

“Psychologically important is the fact that confidence in people’s own personal finances for the next 12 months and confidence in the general economy over the the next twelve months both moved into positive territory after being in the red for well over a year,” said Moon.

The research, which is produced by GfK NOP on behalf of the European Commission, was conducted amongst a sample of 1,999 people between September 4 and September 13.