Public ‘pessimistic about big purchases’

The current economic climate has meant people are trying to avoid spending a large amount of money, a new report suggests.

The Nationwide consumer confidence index for August has claimed that the public is pessimistic about making big purchases such as a car or house – which could lead to getting into debt.

In the survey, 68 per cent of respondents said that they consider now to be a bad time to make a major purchase, compared to 49 per cent in the same period a year ago.

Nationwide’s chief economist Fionnuala Earley said: “Economic uncertainty continues to affect sentiment around spending and employment … consumers are beginning to take a realistic view of the future.”

She added that many people are taking the possibility of tougher times ahead into account.

In June, the Bank of England inflation attitudes survey showed that consumer confidence was low. Respondents gave an average figure of 4.9 per cent when asked to guess the current level of inflation, compared to 3.9 per cent the previous year.

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