Consumer confidence rose to its highest level in two years in June as shoppers’ appetites for large purchases began to return.

The GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer rose to -21 in June, up from -22 in May when it jumped five points. June’s result is the index’s highest level since May 2011.

The climate for major purchases leaped five points month-on-month to -20 in June, which will come as welcome news to big ticket furniture and electricals retailers.

Confidence over the general economic situation for the next 12 months edged up by two points to -16 month-on-month, but is up from-31 year-on-year.

However, those polled were more gloomy over their personal financial situation, with the index dropping to -7 from -5 in May.

GfK managing director of social research Nick Moon said: “A one point rise is not in itself important, but what matters more is that it is another marker in what now appears to be a clear upward trend.

“Other than the probably aberrant large rises and falls in November and December, all of the last seven times the index has changed rather than staying the same have been upward changes, and the Index now stands eight points higher than it did last June, and ten points higher than last April. The annual moving average, which fell from -28 to -27 last month, fell again to -26 this month.

He added: “What makes this apparent good cheer somewhat surprising, and what may prevent the Government from breaking out the champagne quite yet, is that the improvement comes at a time when there has been a flurry of recent reports showing that people are not only getting worse off, but they are likely to continue to do so.”

The GfK survey was conducted from May 31 to June 16.