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UK consumers most confident since August, but wary of year ahead: GfK

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British consumer morale rose for a second month in a row in January to hit its highest level since last summer, but households remain pessimistic about the outlook for the country's economy, a survey showed on Friday.

[LONDON] British consumer morale rose for a second month in a row in January to hit its highest level since last summer, but households remain pessimistic about the outlook for the country's economy, a survey showed on Friday.

Market research firm GfK said its overall consumer sentiment indicator rose to +4 in January from +2 in December, stronger than a median forecast of +1 in a Reuters poll of economists.

"UK consumers remain resiliently bullish this month with no sign of the January blues denting their view on the state of their personal finances for both the past year and also for the rest of 2016," Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK, said.

But the survey's measure of how households are feeling about the outlook for the economy rose only marginally to -5, showing a general mood of pessimism was persisting. "February's barometer will make for interesting reading given the rocky start to global markets this year and the impact on prospects for the year ahead," Staton said.

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Britain's economy lost some of its pace in late 2015 and finance minister George Osborne says it faces a "dangerous cocktail" of risks from the world economy. Economists say Britain's planned European Union membership referendum, which is expected to take place this year, could also hurt growth.

The GfK survey showed consumers were more willing to spend on big-ticket items than in December.

REUTERS

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