NORTHERN Ireland's 2012 proved to be "wrong time, wrong place" for 1,000 people polled reporting very low levels of economic optimism.
In the final three months of last year almost six in 10 people in Northern Ireland (57%) said they thought the economy will get worse compared to just one in 10 (11%) who thought things will improve.
According to the Ipsos Mori interviews, overall general economic confidence was at the same level in December as it was in January 2012 and there are high worries over redundancy.
Flag protests which began on December 3 have also been credited for plummeting confidence.
There were also high profile company failures including not only UK high street giants HMV and Jessop's, but Northern Ireland firms including FG Wilson and the Patton Group.
Fear of redundancy among full-time workers in the private sector has not changed throughout 2012. One in four (25%) in the private sector are concerned about being made redundant. Concern over redundancy among full-time workers in the public sector continues to fluctuate from quarter to quarter although there is an upward trend from 2009 when just 8% were concerned about being losing their jobs. This figure now stands at 21%.
Those concerned about being made redundant were much more likely to think the economy will get worse (60%) than those in employment overall (52%) while 35% of workers fearing redundancy think that their personal financial situation will get worse compared to 26% of those working overall.
In terms of personal finances, just one in seven (14%) think that their own economic situation will improve compared to 34% who think it will get worse in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Those aged 16-24 are much more likely to think the economy will improve in the next year than the population in general (19% compared to 11% overall).