UK consumer confidence has reached its highest point since April 2010, an early sign that the economic recovery is gaining steam.

The GfK Consumer Confidence Index increased to -16, from -21 in June. The survey found that measures for personal financial situation improved for both the last 12 months and the coming year, as did the general economic situation. The major purchase index was the only measure to decrease this month.

"There is now no doubt that consumer confidence has recovered strongly from the unparalleled trough of the last five years," said GfK managing director of social research Nick Moon.

"At -16, the overall Index is now at its highest point since April 2010. In the last three months the Index has risen by 11 points, one of the best single quarter improvements since the Index started climbing up from its all-time low of -39 in July 2008 after the credit crunch."

He added that it was also significant that since December last year, there has been only one month where the Index fell, and that was just a one point drop.

"With a series like the Index it is the longer-term changes that mean far more than one single month's figures, and the current trend is definitely upwards," noted Moon.

"This can be seen clearly from the 12-month moving average which started the year at -29, rose to -28 by February, to -27 by May, -26 in June and it is now at -25. Given that the 12-month moving average was either -29 or -30 for the whole of 2012 this is a very dramatic change." he added.