Consumer confidence remains subdued in April

Whilst recent figures showing a return to growth in Q1 2011 helped to allay fears of a double dip recession consumer confidence is still hovering dangerously close to the record low that we saw in February.  The Index is currently 43, 32 points lower than at the same point last year and 37 points below the long-run average.
Despite the doom and gloom however there are indications that there is a degree of stability with only slight movements seen in the various measures during April.
Consumers still remain cautious about the future of the housing market with expectations remaining in the negative territory for the seventh month running, many home owners believing that the value of their homes will fall by 1.1 per cent over the next six months.
The CML reported last week that total mortgage lending for April had fallen in March and was down 5 per cent on last years figures, with the extra bank holiday and Easter being major factors for the drop.
Many believed that the extra bank holiday and the Royal Wedding would raise consumer confidence but it appears that those hopes have now been dashed as consumers are clearly still downbeat about the current economic situation.
For more comments or to read the full report visit Nationwide’s website where you can read comments from Chief Economist for Nationwide, Robert Gardner.  You can view the full report here.
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