Consumers expect more bad news

Many consumers believe the economic situation will have deteriorated further in six months time, reveals the latest data from Nationwide.

The Nationwide Consumer Confidence Index for November shows that out of the 1,000 consumers polled 45% think the economy will be worse in six months time, compared to 38% in October.

Some 49% of respondents believe there are few jobs available now, up from 41% last month. But the majority think they will be unaffected, with 65% saying their household income will remain the same in six months time.

Consumers are also beginning to feel slightly more positive about house prices over the next six months. Consumers now expect prices to fall by 5.4%, compared to 5.6% in October.

Fionnuala Earley, chief economist at Nationwide, says: “Consumer confidence dropped again this month against the backdrop of an emerging recession in the UK and continued global economic uncertainty.

“Reports of job cuts have almost certainly impacted on sentiment about the present and future employment situation, causing purse strings to tighten further, even as the festive season gets underway.”

She adds: “It remains to be seen whether the chancellor’s recent announcement will greatly improve consumer confidence.”