Confidence near three-year low

Consumer confidence fell in December to its lowest level since the start of the Iraq war more than two years ago, a survey showed on Thursday.

Consultancy GfK NOP said its barometer of consumer sentiment fell to -9 in December after a reading of -8 in November. That was the lowest point since March 2003 and confounded analysts’ predictions of a rise to -6.

“At the headline level at least, this release does not paint a very bright picture of conditions in the consumer sector,” said George Johns, economist at Barclays Capital.

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