UK consumers commuters
UK consumer sentiment remains at -7 in February, according to GfK.Reuters

A gauge of consumer confidence in the UK held steady in February, after improving substantially in the previous month.

The closely watched GfK/NOP consumer confidence index stayed unchanged at -7 in February, matching economists' expectations. In January, the index gained six points from the -13 reading in December, rising to the highest reading since September 2007.

The index is compiled after a survey of 2,000 people aged over 16. The last survey was conducted from January 31 to February 16 by research firm GfK on behalf of the European Commission.

"After the substantial six point rise in the Index last month, holding steady, rather than any form of correction, is good news. Just a year ago the Index stood at -26, so the current level is massively better," Nick Moon, managing director of social research at GfK, said in a statement.

"Taking the whole history of the Index from 1974, the current level is slightly ahead of the lifetime average of -9."


Of the five sub-indices used to calculate consumer confidence, two declined in February, while two increased and one remained unchanged.

The sub-index measuring changes in personal finances over the last year decreased one point to -13 from the previous month, while the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months rose one point to 4.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has increased three points to -17. Meanwhile, expectations for the economy over the next 12 months have stayed the same this month at 2.

The index measuring consumers' aptitude for major purchases decreased one point this month to -11, while another index measuring willingness to save decreased three points to -12.

Britain's housing and consumer sectors have significantly contributed to its recent economic recovery. In the fourth quarter of 2013, Britain recorded a 0.7% growth largely due to the contribution from housing and consumer sectors.