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Has consumer confidence bottomed out?

News that consumer confidence appears to have picked up over the last month has been assumed by many to signal the end of the consumer confidence crisis. However, the consumer confidence figures reflect the views by many that now is the time to make a substantial purchase but confidence about the economy and the outlook for next year is still falling. Whether consumers are now wrapped up in the festive period and looking for bargains or whether consumer confidence has really turned the corner remains to be seen.

There is no doubt that the UK economy has yet to hit the bottom of the current cycle although even the merest hint that consumers are not as concerned about spending is encouraging. However, whether these consumers who are showing confidence in the run-up to Christmas will be as upbeat in the New Year when their debts have increased and unemployment continues to rise remains to be seen.

While many have concentrated on the fact that consumers are finally showing some kind of confidence, however short-term this may be, it is worth remembering that even these upbeat consumers have concerns about the economy and the outlook for next year.

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