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UK households' optimism over finances hits six-year high: Markit

[LONDON] British households were more optimistic in December about their financial prospects in the coming 12 months than at any point in the last six years, a monthly survey showed on Wednesday.

The Markit household finance survey's measure of financial well-being for the next 12 months rose to its highest level since the survey started six years ago.

"Positive sentiment was supported by reduced pressure on savings, further growth of workplace activity and falling inflation expectations," said Philip Leake, economist at survey compiler Markit.

The headline Markit Household Finance Index, which gauges households' financial health overall, edged down to 42.7 in December from 42.8 the previous month, still far below the 50 mark which separates pessimism from optimism.

Other findings from the survey were mixed.

Income from employment fell in December, ending a four-month period of growth, although job security increased.

More than half of British households though Bank of England interest rates would remain at their record low 0.5 per cent level over the next six months, where they have sat since the depths of the financial crisis.

Minutes from the BoE's December policy meeting will also be published at 0930 GMT.