Scottish consumer confidence 'falling'

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Consumer confidence in Scotland has reached its lowest level for more than a year, according to new research.

The latest Deloitte Consumer Tracker found it was also below the UK-wide figure.

Five of the six measures of confidence in the research were down - only the perception of job opportunities and career progression was improved.

The company identified inflation, interest rate rises and Brexit as key factors in consumer pessimism.

The research covered the third quarter of 2018.

The overall net balance on the tracker was minus 9%, down four percentage points on the previous quarter.

The equivalent figure for the UK remained slightly higher at minus 7%.

Spending power

Deloitte chief economist Ian Stewart said: "The reality of higher inflation and August's interest rate rise has dented optimism about spending power.

"Meanwhile uncertainty and the manner in which the UK exits the EU in less than six months' time is creating an additional headwind for consumers.

"The softening in consumer confidence has occurred against a backdrop of firmer UK activity and further falls in unemployment."

He added: "That such consumer-friendly conditions have failed to boost confidence testifies to the headwinds from inflation, interest rate rises and Brexit."

The latest survey in the quarterly series took place between 21-29 September and involved 3,105 consumers across the UK, 371 of whom were in Scotland.