Consumer confidence rose in May
The Nationwide Consumer Confidence Index rose by two points in May, a more moderate change following the sharp increase in April.Over a quarter (28%) of those questioned now believe that the economic situation will be better in six months' time and the percentage of those believing the situation will be worse in six months' dropped back from 32% in April to 28% in May. The percentage of those believing now is a good time to make a major purchase fell to 39% during the month from 42% in April. Despite this fall, confidence remains high in this area when compared to the previous six months and is still much higher than at this time last year (14%). Confidence in making a household purchase, such as white or brown goods, saw a one percentage point decrease from the previous month to 41%. The number of those believing now is a bad time to buy such goods increased from 15% in April to 17% in May.
Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide's chief economist, said:
“The more modest change in overall consumer confidence this month is no surprise and, as we continue to see contrasting news about the state of the economy, it is likely that confidence will remain fragile. While some reports suggest tentative signs of a slowing in the pace of economic decline, it is important to remember that a number of sectors are continuing to contract and any recovery is likely to be sluggish. What is clear from our findings is that while consumers remain pessimistic about the present situation, they appear to be much more confident about the future than they were at the beginning of the year.”
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