Belfast Telegraph

Economic gloom pervades UK

By Graeme Evans

Britons are among the most pessimistic in the world about their country's economic prospects, it has been revealed.

Just 9% of respondents in the Ipsos MORI survey expect an improvement in their economy in six months' time, a figure only beaten by the French with 3%.

Of the other G8 countries, people in Canada, Germany and the United States are the most optimistic, although even in these countries no more than a quarter believe there will be a strengthening in their economy.

The responses to the 24-nation online poll cover July, when figures showed the UK economy grew 0.2% in the second quarter of 2011. Sovereign debt worries in Europe were also building while American politicians struggled to reach a deal on the country's budget deficit. At 10%, the citizens of Japan, Hungary and Belgium were almost as downbeat as the UK, while Spain and Italy, where borrowing costs have risen on fears over debt repayments, posted 18% and 13% respectively.

The 9% figure for the UK compares with 22% in May 2010 and 14% in the previous month.

A question asking respondents to assess their country's performance showed 10% viewed the UK economy as "good".