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UK households stay upbeat on finances: Markit survey

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 17:50

[LONDON] A survey of how British households feel about their finances has hit the second-highest level since it was launched in 2009, helped by falling unemployment and a plunge in inflation.

The monthly Markit household finance survey's measure of financial well-being edged up in March and expectations for the next 12 months rose too.

The average reading of the Household Finance Index in the first three months of 2015 was the highest on record, financial data firm Markit said, potentially helping Prime Minister David Cameron who is seeking re-election in an election on May 7.

Britain's main measure of inflation fell to 0.3 per cent in January, its lowest level since records began in 1989. The Markit survey was due to be published at the same time as official data, which economists said would show earnings again rose more sharply than inflation in January.

Markit found a slight rise in the percentage of people expecting the Bank of England to raise interest rates before September. But at 29 per cent it remained below the number of people in 2014 who had expected a rate hike within six months.

REUTERS