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[LONDON] British consumer morale slipped to its lowest in four months in October, a survey showed on Friday, adding to signs that domestically driven growth is continuing to ease in the final three months of the year.
Market research company GfK said its monthly consumer sentiment indicator dipped to a four-month low of +2 this month from +3 in September, bucking economists' forecasts for a small rise, though still high by historic standards.
Britain's economy slowed slightly more than expected in the three months to September, due to a big fall in construction and a continued export-led recession in manufacturing, leaving consumer and investment demand as the main drivers of growth.
The GfK indicator, which measures a mix of households' views on their personal financial situation and their outlook for the economy, touched a 15-year high in June and August, but the decline since then has been the sharpest in four years. "Good news on the domestic front - with households lifted by wage growth, low interest rates and near-zero inflation - is being tempered by concerns about our ability to shrug off the global downturn," GfK analyst Joe Staton said.
The index overall and most of its components are higher than a year ago, but households' expectation for the economic outlook over the next 12 months has deteriorated.
The International Monetary Fund forecast earlier this month that British economic growth would slow to 2.2 per cent next year from 2.5 per cent this year, after being the fastest-growing major advanced economy with a 2.9 per cent expansion in 2014.
GfK conducted the survey between Oct 1 and Oct 15 on behalf of the European Commission, speaking to 2,000 Britons aged 16 and over.