Old Consumer
Confidence among the over-55s – at 106.3 points – still lags behind that of consumers overall Reuters

UK consumer confidence has improved to its highest point since August 2007, but wary older people are unconvinced by the country's economic recovery.

The YouGov and the Centre for Economics Research (Cebr) Consumer Confidence Index, which questioned 6,500 people, increased again this month to 111.6 – an improvement of +0.9 points since February.

But consumer confidence among the over-55s – at 106.3 points – still lags behind that of consumers overall.

The research also revealed that just more than one in ten (11%) of older people believe their household financial situation will improve over the next year compared to 21% of the general population.

The figures suggest that one of the reasons for this is that because their economic wellbeing is less tied to improvements in the labour market they have felt fewer of the benefits of the jobs-led recovery.

"Over-55s tend to be asset rich but cash poor and are further behind other consumers when it comes to feeling the benefits of the upturn," said Stephen Harmston, head of syndicated research at YouGov.

"Although many think the economy in general is improving, they are sceptical about their own financial situations."

YouGov/Cebr's findings also show there is still an air of caution among older consumers.

Almost half (49%) believe there will be no change in their household's finances over the next year, explaining why the majority (56%) would save a windfall rather than spend it (20%).

However, the research shows that the government's proposed changes in pensions could lead to a slight increase in older peoples' spending power.

YouGov/Cebr said Over-55s are much less likely than the general population to use a windfall to pay off debts, largely because they have fewer debt commitments to meet.