Research body GfK has said the public’s mood has improved on the “deep trough” experienced last year as its monthly consumer confidence measure held steady.

GfK’s monthly UK Consumer Confidence Index stayed at -26 for the third month running, it reported today.

Three of the five measures of consumer confidence experienced decreases this month, with one measure increasing and one measure remaining static. The annual moving average stayed the same at -28.

Attitudes to personal finance over the next 12 months and the confidence in the UK economy experienced decreases in confidence however the climate for major purchases improved from -26 last month to -23 in March.

GfK managing director of social research Nick Moon said: “Whilst a third month with the index unchanged may not see like cause for rejoicing, it does now begin to seem that the British public’s mood has climbed slightly out of the very deep trough it was in for almost all of 2012, and what we are seeing now looks more like the new normal than a temporary boost.

“The index is still extremely low in historical terms but even a small rise, when sustained as this one has been, should be considered good news.”

However, independent retail analyst Nick Bubb warned that the Budget and the Cypriot bail-out, which both occurred after the survey was conducted, may have negatively impacted on consumer confidence.