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UK consumer confidence improved once more in April as inflation eases, according to the monthly GFK consumer confidence index.

GFK’s monthly survey found four measures were up and one stayed the same on March’s findings.

The overall index score increased two points to –19 in April.

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last year is up two points at –11, which is now 10 points better than April 2024.

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is unchanged at +2 – some 15 points higher than this time last year.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the past 12 months remains strongly negative at –41, but this is up four points on last month and 14 points higher than in April 2023.

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased by two points to –21, which is now 13 points better than April 2023.

Joe Staton, client strategy director GfK, commented: “There was a welcome repeat of the March +2 score for how consumers feel about their personal finances in the next 12 months. While the Overall Index Score remains negative, all of the underlying five measures this April are significantly better than they were last April.

“These improvements reflect the impact on household budgets of lower inflation and the anticipation of further tax cuts. However, we are a long way from the much firmer sentiment last seen in the period before Brexit, Covid and the conflict in Ukraine.

“There is a lot of ground to make up, and caution is needed in the face of continuing economic and fiscal challenges, and revised views on when the Bank of England might cut borrowing costs. But Spring has arrived and maybe consumer confidence is, at last, slowly becoming brighter and heading in the right direction.”

Morning update

On the markets this morning the FTSE 100 continues its gains, up another 0.5% to 8,119.9pts.

Early risers include Glanbia, up 7.1% to €18.10, Bakkavor, up 2.6% to 120.5p and PZ Cussons, up 2.2% to 104p.

Fallers include Science in Sport, down 1.6% to 15.5p, DS Smith, down 1.1% to 336.2p and WH Smith, down 0.9% to 1,172p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 set a further closing record yesterday after rising 0.7% to 8,135.2pts.

Unilever was one of the index’s standout performances after posting solid first quarter growth that was underpinned by sales volumes improvements. Unilever ended the day up 5.7% to 4,082p.

Sainsbury’s fell back 4.3% to 256.6p on its annual results, despite continued market share gains in its core grocery operations as weak general merchandise sales hit investor sentiment.

WH Smith was also down 6% to 1,182p on flat sales as high street weakness dragged back travel growth.

Risers yesterday included Imperial Brands, up 1.3% to 1,827.6p, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, up 1.2% to €66.00 after its quarterly sales update, Marks & Spencer, up 1.1% to 260.7p, AG Barr, up 1.1% to 564p and PZ Cussons, up 0.8% to 101.8p.

Fallers include Bakkavor, down 4.5% to 117.5p, Kerry Group, down 4.3% to €78.55, Glanbia, down 3.4% to €16.90, Greggs, down 3.3% to 2,688p, SSP Group, down 2.5% to 199.3p and THG, down 1.9% to 63.4p.