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British consumer confidence dips for the first time in 2014: Lloyds

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[July 21, 2014]  LONDON (Reuters) - One measure of consumer confidence in Britain fell for the first time this year in June, the latest sign of a cooling in sentiment about the country's economic recovery.

The overall index of consumer confidence compiled by Lloyds Bank eased one percentage point to 145, data showed on Monday, with spending on gas and electricity around 2.5 percent lower than a year ago.

Spending growth on essentials remained stable at around 1 percent higher than in June 2013.

The easing of the Lloyds index follows a slip in June of the monthly Household Finance Index compiled by data firm Markit. Growth in total retail spending also fell in June to the lowest rate since May 2011, according to the British Retail Consortium.

The possibility of the Bank of England raising interest rates was cited as a factor in both the Markit and BRC reports.

Labor market data last week suggested the economic recovery remains robust.

The number of people in employment rose to a record 30.643 million in the three months to May while the jobless rate fell to 6.5 percent from 6.6 percent a month earlier - though pay growth was weaker than expected.

(Reporting by Tess Little; editing by William Schomberg and John Stonestreet)

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