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Britons' confidence in economy falls after Brexit vote: TNS poll

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - 22:55
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The British public's confidence in the economy has fallen sharply since the vote to leave the European Union, according to an opinion poll published on Thursday.

[LONDON] The British public's confidence in the economy has fallen sharply since the vote to leave the European Union, according to an opinion poll published on Thursday.

Thirty-three percent of Britons think the economy has worsened compared with a year ago, up 11 points from April, pollster TNS said.

A lack of confidence can cause people to stop spending, which hurts the economy and can lead to a self-perpetuating cycle.

The poll of 1,199 people also showed fewer expect to see a pay rise in the next 12 months and more think the economy will fare worse over the next year.

"The latest dataset suggests that confidence in the economy is back down at levels last seen in 2011/12, when the country (last flirted with) recession," said Luke Taylor, head of social and political attitudes at TNS.

Retail sales data on Thursday will provide the first official steer on how consumer demand has been affected by the unexpected result of June 23's referendum, after other measures painted a mixed picture.

Major retailers including Tesco, Next and John Lewis say they have not been affected so far by the referendum result, while the British Retail Consortium said spending in shops bounced in July But the long-running GfK survey - Britain's main consumer morale gauge and generally a decent indicator of future household spending over the years - suffered its sharpest drop since 1990 last month.

REUTERS