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[LONDON] Consumer confidence in Britain took its biggest tumble in four years this month as workers in low-paid sectors worry about losing their jobs in an economic slowdown, a survey published on Thursday showed.
The Consumer Confidence Index, produced by polling firm YouGov and economic forecasters CEBR, slid by 2.9 points to 111.2 points, its lowest level since January and its biggest monthly fall since October 2010. "While employment levels are up, many jobs are low-paid and unsecure, and it is these workers that are looking ahead to the coming year with some trepidation," Charles Davis, director at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said.
Britain's unemployment rate fell to 6.0 per cent in the three months to August, its lowest since late 2008, but job creation has slowed and wage growth remains very weak.
Official data on Friday is expected to show that British economic growth slowed to a quarterly 0.7 per cent in the July-September period, down from 0.9 per cent in the second quarter but still above the average growth rate.
The YouGov/CEBR survey showed employees increasingly expect slower growth in business at their place of work over the coming year, feeding already growing concerns about job security.
The Bank of England has said it expects British economic growth next year to ease to 3 per cent from 3.5 per cent in 2014 although that forecast was made in August, before signs of a sharp slowdown in the euro zone and weaker growth in emerging markets. The BoE is due to announce fresh forecasts next month.
The YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index collects data on a daily basis throughout the month, conducting up to 7,000 interviews per month with people aged 18 and over.