Despite rising optimism about our economic future, the economy remains the most important issue facing Britain today.
As the chancellor declares that Britain is 'on the mend' after the release of GDP growth figures, the Economist/Ipsos MORI Issues Index shows that, as has been the case for 58 consecutive months, the economy remains the most important issue facing Britain today. It is mentioned by half (51%) of the public, and for three in ten (30%) it is the most important issue facing Britain.
Though it has fallen since 2011, this level of concern about the economy has remained largely unchanged since January, varying only by three percentage points, whereas our Economic Optimism Index (those who think the economy will get better in the next 12 months minus those who think it will get worse) has increased from -30 in March to +5 in July. This indicates that, though the public are starting to be more optimistic about the economy, it is still an issue of great concern at this moment in time.
The order of the top five most important issues has remained unchanged since last month; a third (34%) are concerned about race/immigration and the same percentage are concerned about unemployment. A quarter (26%) are concerned about the NHS, and concern is much higher amongst ABs (32%) compared with C2DEs (21%). Concern about poverty/inequality has fallen six percentage points to 9% from a record high of 15% in June.
Ipsos MORI's Issues Index is conducted monthly and provides an overview of the key issues concerning the country. Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 956 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. The questions are spontaneous - i.e. respondents are not prompted with any answers. Ipsos MORI's Capibus vehicle was used for this survey. Interviews were conducted face-to-face in-home between 28th June – 4th July in 176 sampling points across Great Britain. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.