World Economy

UK Public Confidence Punctured

UK Public Confidence PuncturedUK Public Confidence Punctured

Optimism in Britain’s economic prospects has nosedived amid jitters caused by the tumbling pound and business worries over Brexit, an exclusive poll revealed Wednesday.

A big increase in pessimism about the national economy during the past month was found by Ipsos MORI researchers, NewsNow reported.

In addition, the proportion of people who think their own personal finances are going to suffer because of Brexit has surged since July.

Asked specifically about whether the falling value of sterling was good or bad for the country, a majority of almost four to one thought it would be bad.

The findings suggest that public confidence, which was rising during the summer, has been abruptly punctured by an autumn of nervousness.

More than half the public, 53%, think things will get worse over the next 12 months, while just 24% think things will improve.

These are the gloomiest figures in the monthly series since 2011, apart from one blip downwards in July during the immediate fall-out from the shock referendum outcome.

Half think that Brexit will be worse for their standard of living, which is up 13 points from July, while 24% think they will become better off.

 Remain Camp More Worried

Another 24% think it will make no difference to them. Gideon Skinner, of Ipsos MORI, said: “Economic optimism had been recovering after the shock of Brexit, but this research shows that a fall in the value of the pound will still concern the public, while it is the groups who were supporting ‘Remain’ that are most worried about the impact of Brexit.  

“But Labor so far is not taking advantage, as the Conservatives’ honeymoon continues—for the moment at least.”

Unemployment has increased even though the number in work is at record levels, new figures show.

The jobless total rose by 10,000 in the quarter to August to 1.66 million, the first jump since the turn of the year.

Job creation in Britain slowed in the three months to August although there was little sign of a big hit to the labor market from the country’s decision to leave the European Union, official data showed Wednesday.

The number of people in work rose by 106,000 between June and August, down from gains of more than 170,000 in each of three previous readings.

The UK unemployment rate held at a nearly 11-year low of 4.9%, in line with a forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.


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