U.K. Confidence at Pandemic High as Britons Look Beyond Lockdown

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U.K. households are more confident than at any time since the pandemic began, buoyed by the rapid rollout of vaccinations and government plans to unwind coronavirus restrictions.

An index of sentiment jumped by 7 points to minus 16 this month, GfK said Friday. Britons were more upbeat about the economic outlook and their personal financial situation, and signaled they were more likely to make major purchases.

“If this improved mood translates into spending, it might help reverse some of the economic damage the U.K. has suffered,” said Joe Staton, GfK’s client strategy director. “It’s highly likely this upward trajectory on all measures will build over the next six months and beyond.”

The survey of 2,000 people age 16 and over was carried out between March 1 and March 12, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a roadmap for fully reopening the economy from June 21. Around half of the U.K. adult population has now received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

GfK said optimism was also boosted by Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s March 3 budget, which pledged tax breaks for investment and tens of billions of pounds in additional funds to support workers and businesses beyond the lifting of virus restrictions.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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