U.K. Consumer Confidence Rises With Appetite for Big Purchases
A customer carries a shopping basket in London, U.K. (Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg)

U.K. Consumer Confidence Rises With Appetite for Big Purchases


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U.K. consumer confidence climbed to the highest since August 2018 as optimism about the economy boosted households’ willingness to buy big-ticket items.

GfK said its index rose despite consumers expressing concern about their own finances. That was offset by gains in measures of the overall outlook and appetites for big purchases.

Recent data have suggested the economy is starting to rebound as the political turmoil that marked 2019 abates. Britain left the European Union last month and is now in a transition period until the end of the year.

Retail sales jumped the most in almost two years in January, and survey data has been more upbeat than expected. Sentiment among U.K. businesses stayed at a 14-month high, according to a separate index by Lloyds published Friday.

However, GfK warned that the coronavirus could begin to impact behavior and spending. Britain has seen about 15 cases so far, but is braced for more as the disease spreads from China into Europe.

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