UK consumer confidence falls for the first time since March 2009, but in the euro zone shoppers' confidence is boosted, and 81 percent of Americans are looking on the bright side by having fun spending less.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) reported on July 26 that confidence amongst British consumers has fallen by two points, the first decline since March 2009. Nineteen percent of consumers surveyed reported now is a ‘bad' time to buy the things they want, up from 16 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

The monthly consumer confidence report from The European Commission of Economic and Financial Affairs (ECEFA) published on July 22 revealed an improvement in consumer confidence in the euro zone. Using a different scale than the BRC, the ECEFA noted that consumer confidence had declined in the UK (-3 points) but increased in Spain (+2.3 points), Italy (+1.4 points) and Germany (+0.4 points). 

In the United States, even though consumer confidence declined in July due to concerns over the economy, Americans are happier spending less and feel positive about purchasing discount brands, according to a July 26 study by consumer research group Deloitte and Harrison.

The reports from BRC and Deloitte and Harrison show that while British consumers are trying to spend less on everyday essentials such as electricity (63 percent), buying cheaper groceries (62 percent) and spending less on clothes (62 percent) Americans are saving by being more price conscious (61 percent), more frugal (42 percent) less loyal to brands (31 percent) and less impulsive buyers (43 percent).

Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC said in a statement on the BRC's website that "British consumer confidence is below the global average, suggesting we're more unsure about future recovery than other countries."

While 46 percent of British shoppers believe this is a "not so good" time to be spending money, Americans retained a more positive outlook; 65 percent of Americans agreed with the statement "even though I'm spending less I don't feel like I am sacrificing too much," and 81 percent agreed that "it's fun to see how much money I can save using coupons of shopper loyalty cards."