Consumer confidence improved in September for the first time since May.

After reaching  a low of -31 in August, the Gfk NOP Consumer Confidence Index rose to -30 in September. Although slight, the change was described as “psychologically important”.

Gfk NOP social research managing director Nick Moon said: “ “The index’s one-point rise is not statistically significant, but it is psychologically important as it halts the decline of recent months.

“With economic growth effectively stalled at the moment, retailers would welcome more high street activity, although if consumers are buying German fridges and Japanese cars, this would create quite different problems for the UK economy.”

The study showed that people were more confident in the general economic outlook for the next 12 months, as well as their personal financial circumstances and about making major purchases.