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Falling consumer morale measured by new survey

Consumer confidence declined in October, GfK NOP said today.The research firm's index of shoppers' morale dropped from -32 to -36 across the month.A particularly large drop was also marked for major purchases, with confidence dropping to -43 - the lowest on record.High-value buys are commonly partially or wholly funded by credit - provision of which has been restricted thanks to the economic downturn.Recent research from MoneyExpert.com found that 13 per cent of credit applications over the past six months were for credit cards - and were unsuccessful.Meanwhile, a further six per cent were refused personal loan applications.Rachael Joy at GfK NOP said: "Consumers are not at all confident about buying major purchases as rising food and energy bills leave them increasingly worried about keeping up with payments and saving has also seen a considerable drop, possibly due to fears of the safety of savings."Even the reduction of the interest rate and lower petrol prices are unlikely to have a significant effect on confidence in the upcoming months."

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