Many Britons finding it hard to stay positive about the future with 8 in 10 concerned about a possible recession

While many worry about a recession, a new Covid variant and even a new pandemic, many Britons are finding it hard to stay positive about the future

The author(s)

  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
  • Laura King Public Affairs
Get in touch

As we face a rising cost of living, war in Ukraine and now the spread of a new disease, a new Ipsos poll reveals 4 in 10 (38%) Britons are finding it harder to stay positive day-to-day than at the start of the year. Women more likely to be finding it difficult, with 2 in 5 (42%) saying they are finding it harder, compared to around 1 in 3 men (35%). Only a fifth overall (19%) say it is easier to stay positive than at the start of the year.

Are you finding it easier or harder to stay positive about the future?

Britons are more likely to be finding it harder to stay positive about the future, with nearly half (45%) saying this is the case. Again, this sentiment is greater among women, with half finding it harder to stay positive (51%) about the future, compared to 2 in 5 (40%) men. 

Future pandemics

Looking to the future, with news about the spread of monkeypox, Britons are more concerned about the likelihood of a new global pandemic caused by a new virus than they were towards the end of 2020. While a third of people (33%) were concerned about this 18 months ago (33%), this has now risen to 2 in 5 (43%).

How likely or unlikely do you think it is that there will be a new global pandemic?

While concern about Coronavirus falls, worries about the economy rise 

Looking to the rest of the year, Britons are much less concerned about Coronavirus than previous years. There has been a large fall in the number of individuals concerned about future lockdowns, with only 2 in 5 (42%) now concerned compared to three-quarters (73%) in May 2021. Similarly, while 4 in 5 (79%) were concerned about the spread of a new variant of Coronavirus which is resistant to vaccines in May 2021, this has now dropped to just over half (55%).

Looking to another illness, half of Britons are concerned about the spread of the monkeypox virus (48%), however a similar proportion are not (45%). Most are keeping an eye on the situation with 57% closely following news stories about the illness.

Concern about the economy going into recession remains high. Now, 79% are concerned about the economy going into recession. In July last year, 76% said the same thing. Only 15% of people are not concerned about this.

How concerned are you about the following happening?

Keiran Pedley, Research Director at Ipsos, said:

Given the cost-of-living crisis, the war in Ukraine and a new virus in the news, it comes as no surprise that many Britons are finding it harder to stay positive, both day-to-day and for the future. The cost of living continues to be a real concern for the public – with almost 8 in 10 concerned about the prospect of the economy going into recession this year.

Technical note

  • Ipsos UK interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,084 adults aged 18-75 in Great Britain. Interviews took place on the online Omnibus using the Ipsos.Digital platform between 27th to 29th May 2022. Data has been weighted to the known offline population proportions.
     

The author(s)

  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
  • Laura King Public Affairs

More insights about Culture

Society