Consumer confidence fell to its lowest level for nearly two years during August as people became more pessimistic about the economy, a survey showed yesterday.
Research group GfK Martin Hamblin said its monthly consumer confidence barometer had fallen to minus four, down from minus one in July.
The figure is the lowest since October 2004, when confidence hit minus six, and comes after there was a slight improvement in sentiment during July.
The group blamed the drop on people?s perception of the economy over the past 12 months, and a fall in the number of people who were prepared to make a major purchase.
But it added that the impact of the July terrorist attack may also have affected people?s mood.
The incident did not impact on the previous month?s figures, although the UK-wide poll was conducted at about the time of the first attack. The report had been complied by July 21 when the second attack was attempted.
Grant Montague, divisional director at GfK Martin Hamblin, said: ?It may be that we are only now seeing the combined impact of the two terrorist incidents that took place in July.?
The research found people?s perception of the general economic situation in the country over the past 12 months had fallen by six points to minus 24, while people?s perception going forward was also down two points at minus 13.
The index measuring the climate for major purchases was also lower, falling by four points to plus eight.