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UK consumer confidence improves slightly

The consumer confidence index rose from -22 to -18 from July to August.

Consumer confidence in the UK rose for the first time in six months in August, according to the GfK/NOP consumer confidence index.

The index rose four points in August to -18 from -22 in July.

Based on 2,000 interviews with Britons aged more than 16 years, the index showed that consumers feel more positive about the economy and their personal financial situation over the past 12 months.

Consumer perceptions of the economic situation over the next 12 months also rose by 11 points to -14.

However, the study's compilers cautioned that the improvement in August must be cautiously received.

"This gain merely reverses a similarly large drop in July, and in reality confidence in the economy's future prospects remains below its June level and similar to May 2009 when we were still in the grips of a recession," said Nick Moon at GfK NOP social research, Reuters reports.

The report adds that most Britons were still reluctant to make major purchases. The index for the "climate for major purchases" category fell four points from -16 in July to -20 in August.