UK consumer confidence dips for first time in 2014

One measure of consumer confidence in Britain fell for the first time this year in June, the latest sign of a cooling in sentiment about the country’s economic recovery.

By (Agencies)

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Published: Tue 22 Jul 2014, 10:53 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 3:13 AM

The overall index of consumer confidence compiled by Lloyds Bank eased one percentage point to 145, data showed on Monday, with spending on gas and electricity around 2.5 per cent lower than a year ago.

Spending growth on essentials remained stable at around one per cent higher than in June 2013.

The easing of the Lloyds index follows a slip in June of the monthly Household Finance Index compiled by data firm Markit. Growth in total retail spending also fell in June to the lowest rate since May 2011, according to the British Retail Consortium.

The possibility of the Bank of England raising interest rates was cited as a factor in both the Markit and BRC reports.

Labour market data last week suggested the economic recovery remains robust.

The number of people in employment rose to a record 30.643 million in the three months to May while the jobless rate fell to 6.5 per cent from 6.6 per cent a month earlier — though pay growth was weaker than expected.

Homes market cools

Asking prices for London property fell for a second month in July as an increase in the number of homes for sale softened the market for sellers, Rightmove said.

Prices sought in the UK capital fell 0.4 per cent from June to an average £587,174 ($1 million), the property website operator said in a statement. Across England and Wales, prices fell 0.8 per cent, their first decline since December.

The report adds to signs the UK property market is losing steam, after the Bank of England said it posed the greatest risk to the economic recovery.

Financial-stability officials set a cap on loan-to-income ratios last month to prevent a surging prices leading to an excessive buildup of debt.

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