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U.K. consumer confidence strongest since 2007

Staff writer |
The consumer sentiment index came in at -5 in March, up from -7 in February, the market research group GfK said. The score was forecast to rise to -6.

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"People are now on balance more positive than negative about their own financial prospects over the next year. It is unlikely that anything announced in the recent Budget will reverse this," Nick Moon, managing director of Social Research at GfK said.

All five measures used to calculate the index score saw increases this month. The GfK conducted the survey on behalf of the European Commission, among individuals aged above 16.

Assessment of personal financial situation over the last twelve months rose to -11 from -13 in February and their expectations rose marginally to 5 from 4.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country in the last year gained 2 points to -15. Likewise, expectations for next year rose 2 points to 4.

The 'climate for major purchases' index climbed four points this month to -7. Meanwhile, the 'now is a good time to save' index fell two points to -14.

Signaling positive developments in consumer spending, data from the Office for National Statistics on Thursday showed that retail sales recovered strongly in February. Sales were up 1.7 percent.

Retailers forecast a rebound in high street sales next month, according to a survey from the Confederation of British Industry. A balance of 36 percent forecast sales to expand in April, the highest expected growth since December 2010.

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