UK consumer confidence slips in December - Thomson Reuters/Ipsos

Shoppers look in shop windows on Oxford Street in central London, Britain December 3, 2017. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

LONDON (Reuters) - British consumer confidence slipped in December to its second-weakest level in nearly four years, weighed by gloom about the state of the economy ahead of Brexit, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Thomson Reuters/Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 48.21 from 49.46 in November, the weakest level for three months and only slightly above September’s almost four-year low of 47.78.

Consumers have been squeezed through most of this year by rising inflation which hit its highest in nearly six years last month, at a time when wages are failing to keep up.

The share of Britons who are downbeat about the state of the economy increased to 65 percent from 60 percent in November, its highest level since January 2014, the survey showed.

The Thomson Reuters/Ipsos survey is not adjusted to take into account seasonal variations.

Official data earlier on Thursday showed British shoppers pounced on electrical goods and other Black Friday bargains last month, giving an unexpectedly big boost to retail sales, which contrasted with earlier signs of a subdued start to Christmas spending.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by John Stonestreet