UK consumer sentiment jumps in January: YouGov/Cebr survey

Shoppers crossing the road in Oxford Street, London
Shoppers cross the road in Oxford Street, in London, Britain August 14, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) - British households' expectations for their personal finances over the next 12 months recorded a record jump in January as wholesale gas prices fell, according to a monthly survey by market research company YouGov and economics consultancy Cebr.

The overall YouGov/Cebr consumer confidence index rose by 2.4 points to 98.3, while the component for expectations of household finances over the next 12 months rose by 10.5 points to 67.4, the biggest monthly increase since the survey started more than a decade ago.

"Falling natural gas prices have helped to brighten the outlook for household finances ... though households will still see energy costs increase between April and June this year," Cebr director Kay Neufeld said.

Consumer price inflation hit a 41-year high of 11.1% in October, and remains in double digits. But the Bank of England forecast last week that CPI will fall sharply in the second half of this year to just under 4% by the end of 2023, and warned of a lengthy if shallow recession.

The YouGov/Cebr household finances outlook remains weak by historic standards and well below its level a year earlier, which was 79.1, and other measures of consumer sentiment have been more downbeat.

GfK's long-running consumer sentiment measure - conducted in early January - fell for the first time in four months to its third-lowest level since the series began in 1974.

The YouGov/Cebr survey showed modest rises in households' assessment of their personal finances over the past 30 days, as well as house price expectations, which YouGov said appeared at odds with other evidence of falling house prices.

Households' perception of job security and business activity dropped slightly.

The data is based on a total of more than 6,000 interviews, collected daily throughout January.

Reporting by David Milliken; editing by William James and Sarah Young

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