The public continues to be dissatisfied with the government’s handling of the economy, and the majority do not predict any improvement in the economic situation over the next 12 months.

According to this month’s Kantar Public Public Opinion Monitor only one in five rate the government’s economic management positively (20%), with more than twice that number (44%) describing it as ‘poor’. While the figures will provide disappointing reading to the government, they represent a slight improvement on last quarter, when half rated its economic performance as poor (March 2013 – 51%).

POM June

Public opinion is also firmly pessimistic about the economic outlook, with only a fifth (21%) saying they believe the situation will improve over the next 12 months. A similar proportion (22%) believe that the economy will worsen, but 58% predict economic stagnation for the year ahead, saying they expect conditions to remain much the same as they are now.

Nor do many believe there has been progress in the last twelve months. Over a quarter (28%) say the British economy is performing worse than 12 months ago, while just over half (58%) say that the economy was doing about as well as a year ago. However, there are some signs of improvement; the proportion that think the economy has got worse is at its lowest ever level in a Kantar Public poll (down from 49% in June 2012). Furthermore, 14% say that the economy is doing better than 12 months ago – this is more than double the figure for June 2012.

In response to this gloomy economic forecast, the public is calling for measures to improve public life. The top measures cited by respondents are reducing unemployment (47% list this as one of their top three priorities), generating economic growth (45%) and improving healthcare (34%). The number calling to reduce the national debt is 31%, a slight fall from the 35% recorded in November 2012.

There is relatively positive news on wages, with a quarter (24%) of full- or part-time workers saying that they expect their pay to rise over the next year, against only one in ten who predict them to fall. Confidence on job security also improves slightly: although 28% say that their job is less safe than a year ago, this still represents a fall from March 2012, when 37% said their job had become less secure in the previous year.

Nick Howat, Head of Social and Political Attitudes at Kantar Public, said, “Although there are signs that public opinion is becoming less negative about the economy, these are still very disappointing figures for the government. The public sees very little grounds for optimism on the economy, and there is only a very slight improvement in its confidence in the government’s economic management.”

Notes to editors
Detailed tables for this survey can be found here. Please treat with caution those figures where the sample size – the unweighted base – is less than 50.

TNS Omnibus interviewed 1,208 GB adults between 6th and 10th June 2013.

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 patterns and region.

About Kantar Public
Kantar Public is a leading provider of specialist social research, offering insight into public policy to government and not-for-profit clients. Delivering a range of approaches including bespoke proprietary research and public affairs, random probability survey capabilities, as well as social marketing and polling, Kantar Public is the largest commercial provider of social research and insight to Whitehall. Kantar Public is part of the TNS group.

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