Consumer confidence has continued to fall as a result of the ongoing economic uncertainty, a weakening housing market and the higher cost of food and fuel, according to new research published today. The latest index by Nationwide found that consumer sentiment in the UK declined a further four points to 61 in June, after having fallen to its lowest level since 2004 in May. Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “This month’s drop in confidence is to be expected given the recent run of bad news. “With reports of rising inflation rates, weaker economic growth and further falls in house prices, it is not surprising that people are feeling much less optimistic about the future. “While consumers appear to be fairly relaxed about the availability of jobs, with unemployment beginning to rise, we are likely to see a change in labour market sentiment over the coming months.” While little was found to have changed to consumers’ views about their current situation, following the sharp fall last month, people were shown to be more despondent about the future, with more than half believing that the economic scenario would worsen in the next six months. The study also revealed a shift in views on household income with the number of consumers who thought that it would increase in six months falling to 16%, which was 5% lower than in May 2008 and more than 10% lower than for the same period last year. Most believed that it would remain the same. The spending index, which reflects consumer sentiment about buying household goods and major purchases, remained static, despite being at its lowest level to date.