Ipsos MORI’s latest Political Monitor shows economic optimism continuing its decline since last summer, to reach its lowest level since April 2013. A quarter of Britons (26%) believe the economic condition in Britain will improve over the next 12 months. This compares to two in five (39%) who think it will get worse, and 31% who believe it will stay the same. This gives an overall Economic Optimism Index score (% improve minus % get worse) of -13.
This Economic Optimism Index of -13 is down from -1 in December, and from +14 in July last year. The last time it was this low was in April 2013, when our EOI stood at -19.
Mortgage holders are less pessimistic than those who rent. Thirty-three percent of mortgage holders believe the economy will get worse (29% think it will improve) compared to 45% of renters (24% think it will improve). Similarly, those within the C2DE social grade category are also more downbeat about Britain’s economic prospects, with 44% expecting the economy to get worse (22% think it will improve) which contrasts with one in three (34%) of those in the ABC1 social grade categories (30% think it will improve). There is also a consistent pattern over time that men are more optimistic about the economy than women, and this month men again have a slightly higher EOI than women (-8 vs -17).
Our 2016 predictions poll last month also showed concern about the economy’s future. Three in five (60%) expected mortgage interest rates to rise, 36% that unemployment would rise, and only 22% thought that their own standard of living would improve.
Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:
“For two years, from the summer of 2013 to the aftermath of last year’s election, Britons were more hopeful than worried about the economy, and that clearly played a key part in the Conservative victory. But that started to decline in the autumn, and now with stories about a global slowdown in the news, we are starting 2016 in a much more pessimistic position.”Technical note Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,027 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 23-25 January 2016. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.