The net consumer confidence score for the North East improved from -14% in the first quarter of 2015 to 0% during the same period in 2016.
It was the only region not to show a negative score in the first quarter. Consumer confidence across the UK worsened by three percentage points year-on-year, from -5% to -8%.
Dave Johnson, partner and consumer business lead for Deloitte in the North East, said: “In previous years the North East has lagged behind other regions when it comes to confidence around key issues such as job security and disposable income, so it’s encouraging to see a more confident mood among consumers in the region.”
The survey also found a significant improvement in the net confidence scores for health and wellbeing among North East consumers, up from -20% in the first three months of 2015 to -10% in the first quarter of 2016. Only consumers in the East Midlands recorded a higher confidence score for their general health and wellbeing.
This was in contrast to the unusually large seasonal decline in sentiment about general health and wellbeing across the UK, with the confidence reading for health and wellbeing falling by six points to its lowest level since the survey began in 2011.
Johnson added: “Consumers are increasingly health-conscious. The extensive media coverage around health seems to focus consumers’ attention on health and wellbeing as an issue.
“In addition, the recent sugar tax debate, as well as the growing use of health and fitness wearables and apps, may also be increasing consumers’ awareness of their own wellbeing.”
The Consumer Tracker is based on a survey of 3,000 adults across the UK, conducted in association with YouGov.
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