By Marcus Leach

Consumer confidence in the UK has risen according to the GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index.

The four point improvement in the Index is surprising in light of the fall in GDP and possible slide back into recession. However, despite this, a few rays of light have started to reach long-suffering consumers, including falling inflation and the recent reduction in energy prices.

"The Index is sometimes subject to non-economic influences, and the uplift may simply reflect a hangover from the Christmas feelgood factor," Nick Moon, Managing Director of GfK NOP Social Research, commented.

"If this is true, we should be on the look-out over the next few months for a possible bounce from the Olympics as well. However, it’s worth remembering that while the Royal Wedding last April triggered a sharp rise in consumer confidence, it dissipated completely within a few months.

"Consumer confidence is still seriously depressed and we should treat this month’s modest improvement with caution. Should February show another rise then we may be seeing signs that the gloom is dispelling — until then we should treat January's findings as good, but certainly not great, news.”

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