Confidence in the UK’s economy (36%) fell to its lowest level since January 2018, figures from the latest Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report has shown.
Over half (54%) of the UK report pessimism towards current levels of inflation and even more (60%) take a dim view on the current UK housing market.
Resilient Personal Finances
Despite this, confidence in personal finances is close to the highest ever recorded levels. 65% of Brits feel good about their current situation, just three percent less than the September 2018 high, of 68%. Over four in five (82%) feel secure in their job and 78% are happy with their level of disposable income.
In fact, 23% of people think they will have more disposable income in six months’ time. 43% plan to spend that money, 72% will save it, and 47% plan to use it pay off existing debt.
Robin Bulloch, Managing Director of Lloyds Bank, said:
‘While it is not the first time we have reported the resilience of people’s personal finances it has never been set against a backdrop of such heightened economic uncertainty. It’s really positive to see that people are able to feel confident in their own finances. At times like this, managing your money smartly remains key.’
By no means the lowest
While these figures certainly reflect a perceived uncertain economic environment for many they are some way off the lowest recorded figures set in 2011.
In March of that year just 7% were confident in the UK economy. Positivity towards inflation dipped to its lowest point in October 2011 to 9% (vs 46% in December 2018), and the following month saw 16% confident in the UK housing market (vs 40% in December 2018).
Homeowner optimism vs renter pessimism
The research also highlighted the continued gap between the optimism of buyers and renters in the housing market.
Over half (51%) of homeowners feel positive about the current level of inflation against just 37% of renters.
Homeowners are also more confident with the UK’s employment situation (62% vs 48%), the UK’s financial situation (39% vs 31%), and unsurprisingly, the UK’s housing market (47% vs 30%).