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Gloom deepens in the South

The feel-good factor remains as elusive as ever - but just how bad you're feeling depends increasingly now on where you live. Consumers in the south and west of England, Scotland and Wales are becoming gloomier while those in the north and east of England are becoming less pessimistic.

The national picture is that more people are worried about the prospects for the economy than at the end of last year. But marked regional disparities emerge from the latest quarterly survey of consumers conducted by Gallup and Business Strategies. Confidence about economic prospects has fallen back in the South-east. By contrast, it has picked up in the North and East Anglia.