Women are less optimistic about the UK economy and their own financial prospects than their male counterparts, according to a new poll by TNS.

TNS research shows that the public mood has lifted in general over the last 15 months. In March 2013 only 10% felt the economy was doing better than a year ago. However in the latest poll this increases to 36%. Indeed, the proportion that thinks the economy is doing worse than 12 months ago dropped from 41% to 14% over this period. However, women are markedly more negative than men.

The poll of 1,193 adults in the UK shows that only a quarter (24%) of women rate the government’s handling of the economy as good, compared to 40% of men. Indeed, just 29% of women think the economy is doing better than a year ago, compared with 44% of men. Women aged 35-54 are particularly negative with only 16% rating government handling of economy positively and 23% thinking the economy better than a year ago.

When asked about the future outlook a similar split emerges with 39% of men thinking the economy will do better compared to 27% of women.

The poll also asked about respondents’ own financial outlook and prospects at work. Almost a third (31%) of men in work expect a pay rise compared with a fifth (21%) of women. This is a somewhat new development; when TNS last asked this question in March 2013, 26% of men and 23% of women expected a pay rise.

The survey also looked at how well people are meeting their bills and women are much more pessimistic than men, with 38% saying it is harder to meet the monthly household budget than a year ago, compared to 29% of men.

Commenting, Dr Michelle Harrison, CEO of Kantar Public said “This is a clear new trend and reflects the experience of day to day life that many women are experiencing. Their view of the economy is shaped by their experience in the supermarket, their ability to make their budget stretch in the way it used to, and what they observe amongst their families, friends and neighbourhoods. After several years of tightening purse strings, what we hear from them is that they don’t think about politics, left or right, or even the longer term future. They are firmly focused on getting their families through the week.”

Notes to editors

TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,193 adults in Great Britain between 1st and 6th May 2014. All interviews were conducted as online self-completion. The data is weighted to match population totals for age, sex, social grade, working status, presence of children, 2010 voting.

Detailed tables for this survey can be found here.

For detailed trend data for July 2011 to May 2014 click here.

About TNS UK

TNS UK advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world. TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups. Please visit www.tnsglobal.com/uk for more information.

For all the latest, follow Kantar Public & CEO Michelle Harrison on Twitter.

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