Tesco has hailed the surge in consumer confidence in the last three months but sounded a note of caution over whether it will continue.

Tesco group chief executive Philip Clarke said the retailer is attempting to understand a “complex” combination of factors which have led to an improvement in consumer sentiment.

Consumer confidence has reached its highest point since 2010, according to Tesco and customer insight business Dunnhumby’s quarterly Consumer Today report.

Tesco said the proportion of consumers agreeing that the economic situation in the country had improved in the last few months rose from 10% in April to 21% in July. Those thinking that the economy had declined in the recent past fell to 34% in July from 55% in April.

Those believing that the economy will improve rose from 16% in April to 24% in July, while the proportion of consumers believing the economy will worsen fell from 40% in April to 28% in July, Tesco said.

The research showed 16% of households rate their finances as poor or very poor. This rises to 26% for lower income households.

Clarke said: “It’s been a great British summer of sun and sporting success and it’s encouraging to see that consumers are feeling more positive about the economy.

“However, the underlying picture is complex and it’s not yet clear if the recent improvements in consumer confidence are thanks to these short-term factors, or part of a more significant shift. What we do know is that consumers are continuing to look for great value and I don’t see that changing.”