UK consumer confidence picked up in January as shoppers were willing to spend on the high street, according to figures released by research company GfK.

The GfK Consumer Confidence Index Score increased three points to -26. Three of the five measures also rose this month, while one remained the same and one declined.

GfK managing director of social research Nick Moon said: "There's a definite note of optimism in these findings, with clear changes in how people view the general economic situation in the past year and looking to the coming 12 months. More importantly, it looks as if there has been some good news for retailers this month with people more willing to make major purchases compared to December last year. 

"It's worth noting however that people's views of their own financial situation aren't as optimistic, with no improvement expected in the next 12 months, and a drop of two places over last year's personal financial situation. This suggests it is too soon to say if more positive views on the general economy mark the start of sustained rise in the Index.

"Indeed, the continuing gloom from the high street and the talk of triple-dip recession makes that seem somewhat unlikely, but a rise in two months out of the last three is an encouraging sign."