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UK May consumer confidence hits highest level in a year
[LONDON] British consumer confidence surged this month to its highest level in a year as more households expected their finances to improve in the coming 12 months, a survey showed on Thursday.
Polling firm YouGov and economics consultancy Cebr's consumer confidence index rose to 115.1 in May from 113.6 in April, its highest level since May last year.
The survey, taken after Britain's Conservative Party unexpectedly won the national election, also showed 26 per cent of respondents expected their household finances will improve over the next 12 months - the highest proportion since March 2010.
"This rally is set against a backdrop of improving employment figures, 'good' deflation and increasing wages," said Scott Corfe, associate director at Cebr. "Although the latest GDP figures were softer than expcted, it seems likely they will be revised up giving an overall economic picture that is relatively buoyant."
Mr Corfe also said finance minister George Osborne would have to tread a careful line between trying to balance the books and not dampening consumer confidence when he presents a new budget in July.
Britain will release updated statistics for economic growth in the first three months of 2015 on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters expect the data will show revised growth of 0.4 per cent, up from a preliminary reading of 0.3 per cent.
A separate survey from data company Nielsen on Wednesday showed British consumer morale hit a nine-year high in the first quarter of 2015, with Britons feeling increasingly upbeat about their job prospects.