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Friday, 30 November, 2001, 07:39 GMT
UK consumers more optimistic
Credit card
Consumer spending is seen as an economic saviour
UK consumer confidence is recovering from depths hit after the 11 September terror attacks, a survey commissioned by the European Commission has said.

In a further sign of the resilience of the UK economy, optimism among Britons rose by an index level of two points this month, the report found.

Fall and rise in confidence
August: 0
September: -1
October: -5
November: -3

Data: Hamblin GfK

But the rise was insufficient to return the index to positive territory, meaning that most Britons are still gloomy about economic conditions.

The survey comes the day after a survey by the Bank of England revealed that lending grew by 5bn in October, with mortgages accounting for most of the figure.

Mixed feelings

A majority believe that the current time is a good one to make major purchases, Friday's report said.

Most Britons were also optimistic that their financial position would improve over the next year.

But a question about prospects for the economy gained an index rating of -26, showing that a large majority of Britons are pessimistic about the future.

With consumer spending seen as an important prop for the UK economy as many other major nations are slipped towards recession, confidence surveys are being particularly keenly watched by investors and economists.

See also:

29 Nov 01 | Business
UK houses affordable says bank
29 Nov 01 | Business
UK consumers keep borrowing
27 Nov 01 | Business
Economics guru warns on UK recession
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