By Marcus Leach

The GfK NOP consumer confidence index has risen for the first time since May as the British public took a more positive view of the economic outlook.

The index increased to -30 for September, having hit a four month low of -31 in August, although it remains ten points lower than this time last year.

"The index's one-point rise this month is not statistically significant, but it is psychologically important as it halts the decline of recent months," said GfK Managing Director Nick Moon.

The component gauging peoples' outlook for the general economic situation in the next 12 months rose to -27 from -31.

Elsewhere the outlook for personal finances improved to -10 from -11 and the climate for major purchases also recovered, reaching -28 from -31.

"With economic growth effectively stalled at the moment, retailers would welcome more high street activity, although if consumers are buying German fridges and Japanese cars, this would create quite different problems for the UK economy," Moon said.

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