Consumer sentiment regarding disposable income improved six points year-on-year to -33% in the last quarter of 2012 as falling inflation and rising employment last year “brought some relief to UK consumers”, according to the Deloitte Consumer Tracker.
The tracker found that consumers were less likely to cut back their spending on clothing, with the index increasing from -21% to -7%. Sentiment in buying major household appliances improved 4 points to -7%.
Consumers were also less likely to cut back their spending on the cinema, theatre or concerts. The index increased nine points to -17% year-on-year.
In the three month period the spending figures in these categories were the most positive since the beginning of the tracker 18 months ago.
Athough consumer sentiment improved, 45% of consumers said they had less money in their wallets from October to December, against 12% who said they had more.
Inflation is still a concern, as 38% of customers expect utility bills to increase, while 26% expect to pay more for groceries this year.
Meanwhile, the net proportion of consumers who are pessimistic about job security, career progression, personal debt, general well-being and children’s education and welfare increased in each case by 2% or 3%.