Economic gloom sets in as consumer confidence slumps

Consumer confidence has slumped in the past month amid continued concerns about the future of the economy.

Britons remained "resolutely gloomy" about the economic future and planned to cut back on spending.

The GfK Consumer Confidence Index has seen a five-point drop in November, following on from a two-point fall in October.

Despite recent strong retail sales, the index shows a drop in consumer plans for major purchases, spelling bad news for retailers as they prepare for the peak Christmas selling period.

Projected expectations for the general economic situation for next year has decreased by five points, 16 points lower than November 2016.

Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, said: "The slump across the board this month points to continuing uncertainty about the state of the economy among consumers.

"We are viewing our economy over the past 12 months with increasing despondency. The decreasing score on the economy for the next 12 months also shows we are resolutely gloomy about the outlook despite strong GDP numbers.

"Despite recent strong retail sales, we are reporting a sharp nine-point drop in the major purchase index this month and this will be an acute concern for retailers as they gear-up for the key Christmas selling period."