By Daniel Hunter

Consumer confidence in the UK has risen to its highest level in nine years, according market research firm Nielsen.

Confidence rose for the fifth consecutive quarter in the first three months of the year, boosted by better job prospects and low inflation.

Nielsen said 45% of people surveyed said it was a good time to spend, the highest figure number the pre-crisis days of 2006.

Steve Smith, managing director of Nielsen UK, said: “Consumer confidence in the UK continues to rise. The UK is one of the fastest growing major economies, unemployment is falling and people are benefiting from zero inflation and lower prices in supermarkets and petrol stations.

Despite the UK exiting recession in 2009, Nielsen said 51% of those surveyed in the first quarter of 2015 believed the country was still in recession.

The figures come after the CBI yesterday (Tuesday) said that British retailers were at their most optimistic for 27 years.

CBI director of economics, Rain Newton-Smith, said: “Retailers will be encouraged to see growth in sales and orders on the high street bounding ahead. Low inflation, which we expect to remain below 1% for the rest of the year, has given household incomes a much-needed boost and greater spending power.”