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May report shows consumers most hesitant to buy major products since records began

GfK: ‘Major purchase confidence lowest ever’

Consumer confidence for major purchases has hit its lowest point since records began in 1973, according to the latest figures from GfK NOP carried out on behalf of the European Commission.

Major purchases took another major hit during may, with consumer confidence falling a further five per cent, bringing over all confidence to -32. By contrast, in May 2007 the measure stood at +4, highlighting to dramatic collapse in consumer confidence over the past 12 months.

Speaking about the figures, GfK NOP’s spokeswoman for the consumer confidence team, Rachael Joy said: "UK consumer confidence continues its decline and we are seeing levels not recorded since 1990; we are at a massive 27 points lower than this time last year [in general confidence].

"Consumers’ confidence in the economy over the next year, plus a reluctance to make major purchases, reflect the popular expectation of a recession – both these measures are at the lowest level on record," she added.

However, she was keen to stress that we may not be at the end of the problems: "The future months may see even further falls in confidence, as increasing inflation and dropping house prices make reigning in their spending even more likely to the UK consumer."

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