Consumer confidence held steady in August and remains strongly up year on year.

The Gfk NOP Consumer Confidence Index recorded a score of -25 for the third month in a row, compared to -36 in August 2008.

Confidence in the general economic situation in the next 12 months slipped one point month-on-month in August to -9, but in August last year the comparable figure was -47.

Opinion on the climate for major purchases came in at -26 – a one point drop month on month but much better than -38 in August 2008.

Gfk NOP consumer confidence team member Rachael Joy said: “While consumers are still cautious about the economy, they are less pessimistic than this time last year.

“There has been a slight drop, compared to last month, in confidence for the general economy in the coming 12 months but, compared to this time last year, we’re showing significantly less depression when looking to the future.

“Recent reports of housing market improvements and economic recovery may well be lifting public confidence.”