Consumer confidence increased in March as the vaccine rollout continued and the end of lockdown grew nearer.

All measures registered a vast improvement in March as consumers looked forward to a post-pandemic future, according to the GfK consumer confidence barometer.

The overall score jumped seven points to -16, marking the third consecutive month of increases in 2021.

This was boosted by an increase in consumer sentiment over personal finances and the general economic situation for the next 12 months, which improved by six points and 13 points respectively.

Consumers were also more confident about their personal finances in the previous year with that measure growing six points to -2.

Feelings over the general economic situation over the past 12 months remain the most negative, at -60, but still inched up four points in March.

Consumers may be looking to make bigger purchases in the near future with the major purchase index boosted by eight points to -11.

GfK client strategy director Joe Staton said: “Spring is in the air on the back of well-received Budget announcements, the successful vaccine rollout and roadmaps in place for ending lockdown.

“If this improved mood translates into spending, it might help reverse some of the economic damage the UK has suffered.

“And the eight-point fillip in our major purchase measure to -11 suggests this may well happen. It’s highly likely this upward trajectory on all measures will build over the next six months and beyond.”