The Hargreaves Lansdown Investor Confidence Index rose 16 percent in March, from a reading of 69 in April to 80 this month, the highest point the index has reached since January, comparing it to an average reading over the last 12 months of 74.
However, sentiment about the UK market significantly trails enthusiasm for global stock markets as Asia Pacific, Global Emerging Markets and Japan are surging ahead whilst confidence in the North American market bounced back from last month with an increase of 20 percent.
The Hargreaves Lansdown survey of private investors highlighted low growth and productivity, debt and political issues as particular concerns for the UK market, as the index fell from 66 to 62.
Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Sentiment towards the UK economy has been dragged lower, as misery from the high street has been compounded by underwhelming growth figures across the board. The Beast from the East has somewhat muddied the economic picture and consequently it’s as yet unclear whether the first quarter’s disappointing growth figure was a weather-induced blip or the start of a more significant slowdown. Either way, sentiment towards the UK economy has been weakened further.
“By contrast, we have seen confidence in the UK markets finally break back above 80 for the first time since January, driven in part by optimism for firms deriving the bulk of their income from overseas. And while the progress of Brexit negotiations, uncertainty and increased volatility remain concerns for investors, it appears they have had their worst fears allayed by a more positive month in the market.”
The index measures the confidence of retail investors in the UK stock market over the next three years.