According to a new poll, personal debt remains the biggest worry for people in the UK, despite feeling more optimistic about the state of the economy.The Consumer Confidence Index by The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and market research company Neilson reveals that consumer confidence among Britons has risen to its highest level for 18 months, although concerns over debt and job prospects remain major concerns.The poll revealed that 15% of us list debt as our biggest worry – up from 10% last year – with 70% of people admitting that their spending habits have changed in order to save household costs. The situation could see many people look towards debt management plans or IVAs to become help them become debt-free and ease their financial concerns.The BRC study also revealed that 20% of people believe the UKs job prospects were ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, compared to 14% in June and 11% in April. Consumer confidence, meanwhile, is up 10 points on its all-time low of 65% in April, although 75% is still much weaker than the figures before the recession.British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said: “These figures suggest it will be a long, slow climb out of recession for many customers but some do now have their feet on the first rung of the ladder. There is no question the general mood of customers is better than a year ago, when conditions were dire, but improvement has been slow so far.”Half of consumers believe we will still be in recession in a years time. More than half are worried about jobs and their own finances and that will hold back full scale retail recovery well into next year.” Justin Sargent, managing director at Nielsen said: “When we saw confidence pick up between April and June we felt there was a definite and tangible change in the mood of the nation, however, we were cautious as quite often when economies rise out of recession there can be false starts, blips. This latest poll shows that the confidence of the nation continues to improve, though consumers remain very guarded and we are still a long way from the confidence levels we saw prior to the economic meltdown.” The fieldwork for the study was carried out between 28 September and 16 October 2009.
Personal debt still our biggest worry, despite rise in consumer confidence
05 / Nov / 09