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Consumer confidence has hit a five-year low with the majority of people expecting a recession before the end of the year, according to a poll.
Fears about the health of the global economy and Brexit are hanging over consumers. About 75 per cent believe that a recession or a deeper depression is imminent, according to the poll by YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
By contrast, just 24 per cent of respondents said that the economy would grow and only 1 per cent said it would be booming.
The poll’s findings come as official figures showed that the economy shrank for the first time in almost seven years in the three months to June, fuelling fears that the country might fall into recession.
Output fell by 0.2 per cent, down from growth of 0.5 per cent at the beginning of the year, the Office for National Statistics said.
The YouGov/CEBR tracker found that consumer confidence continued its long-term decline. The index came in at 104. Although it was above the 100 barrier that separates positive and negative sentiment, the reading was below its pre-referendum levels of up to 115.1.
The sharpest falls in sentiment were for future house prices, which fell from 116 in July to 106 this month. The outlook on household finances for the coming year fell deeper into negative territory, dropping from 98.1 to 94.8.
Nina Skero, director at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said: “Economic commentators have been warning of a heightened recession risk and our latest research shows that their expectations are matched by those of the general public. These fears have led to a gloomier housing market outlook, suggesting transaction numbers and prices are about to come under even greater pressure.”
However, attitudes towards job security improved with confidence rising from 91.2 in July to 93.4 in August and the outlook for the coming year up from 109.8 to 112.6. Although the public felt secure in their jobs, 63 per cent of respondents said that unemployment would rise during the coming year. Of those, 16 per cent said that unemployment would climb by “a lot”.
Oliver Rower, director of reputation research at YouGov, said: “Britons have grown progressively more cautious about the future over the last few years, and we see growing concern about house prices and the wider economy.”