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Economy in Brief

UK Consumer Confidence Stays in a Downdraft
by By Robert Brusca October 31, 2007

UK consumer confidence fell in October after dropping sharply in September. The index now resides in the lower 15 percentile of its range - a very poor standing. But the index is not without its paradoxes. Consumers rate their financial situation as the best ever, at the top of its range of responses. But the environment for making major purchases is rated as the worst ever (going back to January 1996).

Over the last 12 months the household financial situation was rated at zero, which garners a percentile standing of 75% - top 25 percentile of its range. But the general economic condition is only rated in the bottom 30%.

Over the next 12 months the financial situation is put at +13 which is a top 15% of range standing. But again the general economic situation is rated much lower, in its 46th percentile below the neutral mark of 50%.

As to income levels the bottom income group and the top group each rate conditions in the bottom 20 percentile of range or worse.

Consumers in the UK are having some fickle moments. But for the most part their assessment of the economy and the period ahead is that the times that lie ahead will not be so good.

GFK Consumer Survey
          % of 2Yr % of 10Yr
  Oct-07 Sep-07 Aug-07 Jul-07 Range Range
Consumer Confidence -8 -7 -4 -6 14.3% 16.7%
Current
Household Fin Sit 25 25 25 25 100.0% 100.0%
Major Purchases -5 -3 4 -2 0.0% 0.0%
Last 12 Months
Household Fin Sit 2 4 2 0 75.0% 70.0%
General Econ Sit -30 -29 -25 -25 29.4% 29.2%
CPI 69 64 62 66 100.0% 100.0%
Savings 38 38 42 42 81.0% 93.1%
Next 12-months
Household Fin Sit 13 12 12 13 85.7% 85.7%
General Econ Sit -17 -19 -15 -13 46.2% 56.7%
Unemployment 29 27 29 27 28.6% 58.3%
Major Purchases -18 -20 -18 -21 62.5% 29.4%
Savings 19 17 20 17 63.6% 85.2%
By Income
Lower -14 -13 -11 -8 20.0% 12.5%
Upper -3 -1 1 0 10.0% 9.1%
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