Three surveys add to recovery hopes: Spending plans and credit demand up

HOPES that the UK economic recovery can be sustained receive a boost this morning from three separate surveys showing further improvements in consumer spending plans and demand for credit.

PA Cambridge Economic Consultants reports in its quarterly economic survey that plans to buy cars, brown goods and furniture have all shown a significant increase in the past three months.

More than 9 per cent of households surveyed said they planned to buy a house or flat in the next year compared with 6.6 per cent in March. Plans to buy common household goods showed a further increase.

The consultants' index of consumer confidence rose from 75.2 in March to 78.4 in its latest survey, reflecting an improvement in employment expectations partly offset by lack of confidence in the Government's handling of the economy. The survey was taken before the recent cabinet reshuffle.

According to the Finance and Leasing Association, consumer credit in April rose by 20 per cent to pounds 1.04bn.

Personal loans from the association's members jumped by 38 per cent and retail store credit also advanced, with store cards up by 6 per cent and instalment credit granted rising by 32 per cent. Loans by members for car purchases rose by 30 per cent in April, reflecting a 38 per cent jump in new car credit and a 24 per cent rise for used cars.

By contrast demand for loans from business customers remains subdued, with commercial car loans down by 7 per cent and leasing and hire purchase credit flat.

Infolink, the credit information company, said April showed year-on- year increases in demand of 9.2 per cent for new car loans and 1.2 per cent for home loans by specialist and centralised lenders.

BRUSSELS - Kenneth Clarke, who makes his first visit to Brussels as Chancellor of the Exchequer today, will battle to secure the pre-eminence of London's art auction houses, writes Sarah Lambert.

But a packed agenda for the meeting of EC finance ministers means he will not be called upon to defend Britain's plans to curb the EC's budget deficit and achieve progress on stage two of European monetary union.

Instead he will support a Danish compromise on the VAT treatment of second-hand and saleroom goods.

The ministers will also discuss attempts to modify plans for an EC-wide carbon tax.

The EC's seventh VAT directive is likely to be signed today after years of wrangling. Britain has conceded the principle that it will have to charge VAT on art imports, now zero-rated.

But a compromise suggested by the Danish presidency proposed setting the tariff at 3 per cent compared with the 5 per cent-plus charged elsewhere in the EC. Mr Clarke is expected to try to whittle that down further.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor