Nationwide says consumer confidence fell in February

Robert Gardner, chief economist Nationwide: Inflation fall "will help to ease the squeeze"

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Consumer confidence deteriorated last month, according to the latest survey from Nationwide.

The mortgage provider said that its consumer confidence index fell three points to 44 in February, though that follows a strong gain in January.

Consumers worry about job prospects and the wider economy, Nationwide said.

The survey follows other weak economic data for February. Retail sales fell 0.8% last month, more than economists were expecting.

Consumers have also been hit by record fuel prices.

"Even though interest rates remain at historic lows and the Bank of England opted to inject another £50bn into the financial system in early February, weak labour market conditions combined with weaker than expected economic growth are continuing to weigh on confidence," said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist.

"Consumers also scaled back their expectations for the future, with the forward-looking aspects of the index weakening during the month."

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