Consumer and business confidence remains weak
by Richard Kilner
Story link: Consumer and business confidence remains weak
Nationwide Building Society has reported that consumer confidence has fallen slightly in March compared to February.
Gloomy perceptions regarding the jobs market also persisted, with two thirds of people now believing that there are few jobs available, another marginal increase compared to the February figure.
More than four in five (83%) believe the current economic situation to be bad, although this is a moderate reduction from the 86% who felt this way in February.
Future income prospects also took a knock, with more people now believing that their income will be lower in the next six months compared to previous figures.
The Nationwide research results come shortly after Lloyds Banking Group revealed that confidence in the business sector also remained weak.
The Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets Business Barometer found that the balance of firms that believed activity would be higher rather than lower over the course of the next year was now at -4%, a marginal rise from -5%.
Pessimism continued to outweigh optimism, with the economic optimism balance slumping to -16% from -13% in February.
The general lack of confidence is unsurprising, given that unemployment continues to rise and there are as yet no green shoots of recovery.
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