By Daniel Hunter

Consumer confidence hit a seven year high in the third quarter after a third consecutive rise of three points, according to information and insight firm Nielsen.

The UK Consumer Confidence Index hit 93 in the third quarter of the year, the highest it's been since the same period in 2007.

But the seven year high isn't all good news. An index score above 100 indicates optimism, with a score below 100 indicating pessimism. So, despite consumer confidence hitting a seven-year high, it really means that consumers are less pessimistic than they have been in that time.

As a sign of how things have changed, the last time it was this high, Gordon Brown had just been made Prime Minster and MySpace had more users than Facebook.

The number of people who feel more confident about job prospects was up 41%, also the highest it's been since 2007.

Despite the evidence that the UK economy is one of the fastest growing in the developed world in 2014, 56% of those surveyed still believe the country is in recession.

Nielsen UK managing director Steve Smith, said: “Confidence is moving in the right direction, but the fact remains, as a whole, Britons are still pessimistic about what’s ahead.

“Those positive about jobs and finances are in the minority, while cost-saving tactics are still being practised by the majority of households. For instance, 60% of shoppers are buying cheaper grocery brands to save money — the highest figure for two years — and savings remain the number one destination for consumers’ spare cash.

“This cautious mind-set is contributing to weak retail sales growth, so any UK recovery will remain fragile until more shoppers get a tangible sense that their living standards have improved.”

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