Workplace worries may knock the UK recovery off track - Brand Index

Stephan Shakespeare
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THE UK’S economic growth slowed down in the third quarter of the year – and while still strong, there are fears that the recovery could lose momentum.

Worryingly, our latest YouGov/Cebr household economic activity tracker suggests that this cooling of the recovery has continued into the current quarter and may set the tone for a more circumspect 2015.

The headline consumer confidence index now stands at 111.2 – its lowest level since January 2014. It has fallen by 2.9 points in the past month, suffering its sharpest month-on-month fall since October 2010 – the month of the government’s comprehensive spending review that announced sweeping cuts.

This time around, growth seems to be slowing as turbulence across the globe and continued weakness in the Eurozone take their toll.

Our data suggest that workplace worries have increased since the summer as employees become more wary about what will happen over the coming year.

Month-on-month expectations of job security over the coming year have fallen from 111.2 in July to 107.3 in October – still above the neutral level of 100 but a sharp drop off nonetheless.

Furthermore, the rate of expansion in business activity that employees antic- ipate at their workplace has undergone an even sharper fall, declining by seven points in the past two months. It is now at its lowest monthly level since December 2013.

But this is not all. Our figures show that the number of employees fearing they will be laid off has also spiked sharply since July, with 18 per cent now thinking it is likely they will be let go in the next 12 months – the highest monthly figure since June 2013. The drop in workplace optimism does not bode well for the UK economy’s growth prospects over the next year.

Stephan Shakespeare is the chief executive of YouGov

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