UK Consumer Confidence fell more than expected in December with an index from the Nationwide Building Society slipping to 69 from a revised reading at 74 in the previous month, the largest decline in over a year. Economists were forecasting a print at 72 ahead of the release. A sub-index tracking consumers’ expectations about the economy 6 months into the future dropped to the lowest level since August 2009. Nationwide Chief Economist Martin Gahbauer said the outlook for consumer spending may turn out to be “sluggish” in 2010 as stimulus measures are withdrawn while the government returns the value-added tax to 17.5% from 15% where it had been for past year to help deal with the burgeoning fiscal deficit.
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