A recent survey shows that citizens of the UK are among the most pessimistic in the world when asked about their country’s economy.
Second only to the French, only 9% of people in the Ipsos MORI survey responded that they expect an improvement in the economy in six month’s time. Of other industrialized countries, Canada, Germany, and the United States are among the most optimistic, though in none of them do more than 25% expect a positive change.
The gloomy responses to this survey covered the month of July, in which the UK economy actually grew by 0.2% during the second quarter.
However, debt worries over the eurozone crisis were building fiercely just as the U.S. faced a government shut-down when politicians failed to reach a deal over its deficit budget.
While the American optimism from the survey likely stems from the eventual decision to raise the debt ceiling and rumors of monetary easing from the Federal Reserve, Britons grow concerned as they face European debt problems and rising inflation.
With just 10% of citizens in Japan, Hungary and Belgium saying that they expected an upturn in the economy, the UK is hardly the only country of pessimists.
Save rather than spend
In Spain and Italy, which responded with a respective 13% and 18%, borrowing costs have skyrocketed because of the risk of debt repayment. Just 10% of UK citizens would consider the economy to be “good,” according to a separate survey question.
Though low consumer moral hurts retail spending, it does indicate that Britons are keen to save more rather than spend.
Bobby Duffy, director of Ipsos MORI comments on his firm’s survey: “Economic optimism is low around much of the developed world and with the recent economic news coming out of Germany and the UK, along with the downgrading of America’s credit rating, it is difficult to see where any improvement in optimism, and with it consumer confidence, is going to come from.”