British consumer confidence unexpectedly bounced back in August

LONDON — Consumer confidence in the UK has bounced back from recent lows, indicating that the worst of the slump that has hit Brits since last year’s vote to leave the EU may be over, GfK’s closely-watched consumer confidence survey showed.

GfK’s monthly consumer confidence monitor rebounded a little in the month of August, climbing from a reading of -12 in July, to -10 this month. The reading had been expected to fall to -13, according to a survey from Reuters prior to the release.

The long-run average from GfK’s survey — which takes into account all data collected since 1974 — is -9 points.

Joe Staton, GfK’s head of market dynamics, said that while the data showed an uptick during the month and could signal the start of a recovery, it could also simply be a blip in a longer term slump.

“The index has a lot of ground to regain to get back to black,” he said.

“So is this month’s rise significant? Or could we simply be witnessing a dead cat bounce over the dog days of summer?”

GfK’s survey showing comes amid a continued slowdown in Britain’s broader economy as the impact of both inflation and the uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit weighs on the UK.

Britain’s economy grew just 0.3% in the second quarter of 2017, with growth in the first three months even less impressive, leaving the UK languishing as the slowest growing economy in the G7.