27/09/2001

Level of consumer confidence in the UK remains unclear

The extent to which the US terror attacks have impacted upon the UK economy is still unclear, as several new surveys reveal contradictory levels of consumer confidence.

Echoing an earlier warning given by the International Monetary Fund, a Mori poll commissioned by The Times newspaper suggested that economic optimism currently rested at its lowest level for over two decades, as fears gather of slowdown in the worldwide economy. In addition, almost two-thirds of those polled in the Times survey said that they believed the UK economy would only get worse during the next twelve months, a sentiment which mirrors American confidence levels in the US economy, as reported by the US Conference Board on Tuesday.

However, other indications seem to point at economic findings not much worse than had already been projected long before the events of 11 September. Research carried out for the Consumer Confidence Barometer both before and after the date of the terror attacks, has reported only slightly reduced confidence in the UK economy, resting at a figure still well within with previous projections.

However, regardless of apparent levels of confidence, the International Monetary Fund has forecast that any actual economy recovery is unlikely to occur until some time after 2002. (CL)

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