The UK population is feeling more optimistic about the future, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 British consumers by data and analytics company GlobalData found 34.9% expect the coronavirus situation to improve over the next month.

Sofie Willmott, lead analyst at GlobalData, said: “Following seven weeks in lockdown, the British public are starting to feel more optimistic about the future.

“Just 8.5% expect the situation to get a lot worse over the next month in stark contrast to almost 30% of consumers in April.”

Improved sentiment may benefit non-food retailers as consumers start to return to their new normality, which will hopefully give some confidence around their income and financial situation.

However, with many workers still on furlough leave or without a job, as reopening plans for non-essential stores and the hospitality and service industry are still to be confirmed depending on the virus’ progression, most consumers will remain cautious with their discretionary spending.

Willmott added: “Although consumers are starting to feel more confident that the Covid-19 situation will improve, the new socially-distanced reality still feels very much unknown.

“Retailers will need to instill confidence in UK shoppers to bring them back into non-food stores by implementing rigid safety measures to protect both visitors and staff.”