By Marcus Leach

Consumer confidence rose in May by 10 points on the GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index, the sharpest increase since May 1993, and second biggest since the Index began in 1974.

The Index is now at its highest since last December after what was described as an 'unprecedented jump'. The jump is said to be linked to the Royal Wedding, double bank holiday and let-up in negative reports about the economy.

Despite the jump the research group were quick to warn that consumer confidence still remains heavily in the negative, and still remained lower than this time last year.

"We have seen an almost unprecedented jump in consumer confidence this month," Nick Moon, managing director of GfK NOP Social Research, said.

"But before the businesses celebrate, it should be pointed out that this is just one month's figure and it is far too early to know whether this could be the start of an upward trend."

"We are improving from a rock bottom position and consumer confidence is still deeply in the negative. We are not out of the woods."