UK consumers feeling upbeat
British consumer confidence rose to its highest level in more than two years in June, boosted by increasing optimism about the economic recovery and a greater willingness to spend on major purchases. The GfK consumer confidence index rose to -21 in June, up one point from the previous month to reach the highest level since May 2011. This improvement follows a five point gain in May resulting in a reading much better than the -26 average for the past year.
Also in the UK, house prices rose for the second month in June fuelled by improved mortgage availability. According to the Nationwide Building Society, prices rose 0.3% in June, after a similar increase in the previous month.
Rising US property values are keeping optimism high, helping to maintain consumer confidence close to its six year high.
The US dollar remains firm as markets still expect to see the Fed to start winding down its QE programme. GBP/USD slipped to a low of $1.5163 on Friday but pushed back above the $1.52 in late trading. EUR/USD also slipped, hitting a low of $1.2990 but has traded back above the $1.30 level early this morning.