Britons’ Economic Pessimism Deepens as Pound Takes Brexit Tumble

  • Britons expect economy to worsen, say pound’s decline is bad
  • Support for Theresa May’s administration remains strong

Deutsche Bank's Ruskin: Pound Could Go Into Free Fall

Britons aren’t convinced their economy will weather the Brexit process.

The proportion thinking it will worsen over the next year has increased to 53 percent from 37 percent last month, while just a quarter think it will get better, according to an Ipsos Mori poll published Wednesday. More than half of respondents said that the decline in the pound following the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union is a bad thing.

While the economy has proved more resilient than many had expected, growth is expected to slow next year as the pound’s fall feeds into inflation and businesses delay investment. The currency has dropped by about 18 percent since the June 23 vote.

Despite Britons’ economic concerns, Theresa May’s approval rating remained positive with 48 percent saying they were satisfied with her performance as prime minister, compared with 32 percent being dissatisfied. Her Conservative Party enjoys an 18 percentage-point lead over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour opposition.

“Economic optimism had been recovering after the shock of Brexit, but this research shows that a fall in the value of the pound will still concern the public,” said Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos Mori. “Labour so far is not taking advantage, as the Conservatives’ honeymoon continues -- for the moment at least.”

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