U.K. Consumer Confidence Ticked Up in September

By Wiktor Szary Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.K. consumers' mood improved slightly in September, a survey published Friday showed, as Britons grew more optimistic about the country's economic situation.

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The long-running barometer of consumer confidence, conducted by market researcher GfK U.K. Ltd. for the European Union's executive, increased by one point in September and stood at minus 9. This follows a two-point increase the previous month.

The improvement in sentiment--driven largely by growing confidence in the U.K.'s economy over the past year as well as the year ahead--defied expectations of analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal, who predicted a one-point decline.

The survey, however, saw a decline in consumer views of personal finance looking back as well as ahead.

"Consumers appear to be in a mixed mood--with some confidence measures up and others down--yet there's a strong note of defiance," said Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK.

Spurred by the pound's depreciation in the wake of the Brexit vote last year, inflation has in recent months outpaced growth in Britons' wages, squeezing their wallets. This has caused shoppers to pare back spending and resulted in the economy slowing sharply in the first quarter.

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Growth remained subdued in the second quarter, as a modest revival in consumer spending offset shrinking industrial production, a sign that a hoped-for shift toward export-led growth remains elusive.

Write to Wiktor Szary at Wiktor.Szary@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 28, 2017 19:15 ET (23:15 GMT)