UK economy could be heading for sustainable recovery, says analyst

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CONSUMER confidence in the UK has stalled, which suggests that the economy is heading for a slower, more sustainable recovery, according to a new survey.

A survey by polling company YouGov concluded that fewer Britons are expecting house prices to rise, as they prepare for the prospect of interest rates going up. The YouGov index in July was unchanged from June, ending 18 months of continuous improvement, according to figures compiled for economics consultancy CEBR.

“The surge in consumer confidence over the past 18 months has largely been built on homeowners’ faith in property prices increasing,” said YouGov researcher Stephen Harmston. “Now we are seeing a distinct cooling off in these expectations and, as a result, overall consumer confidence has stalled,” he said.

For the second month in a row, the number of homeowners who expect the value of their houses to increase over the next year fell, the survey showed. Households’ assessment of their own finances continued to improve, however.

“With some heat coming out of the housing market, business investment picking up and household finances slowly improving, the economy could be readying itself for slower, but more sustainable, growth,” said CEBR managing economist Scott Corfe.

Graham Pearce of KPMG

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