The financial services industry’s level of confidence in the UK’s economic outlook has dropped off.
In a survey released today by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), 33 per cent said they felt more optimistic about the UK’s outlook compared to six months ago while 27 per cent said they felt more negative, which is a difference of just six percentage points in favour of being optimistic.
By comparison, when asked the same question six months ago, 47 per cent said they felt more positive while only 16 per cent said they felt more negative, which is a difference of 31 percentage points in favour of being optimistic.
When asked for their reasoning behind their outlook, survey respondents pointed to aspects such as debt, the potential for a Brexit and austerity.
One person commented: “Wages are low, taxes are high and there is more debt. And now there is talk of a rise in interest rates. We are very likely to go back into recession.”
Meanwhile, another simply remarked: “We are due a recession; it is time.”
Simon Culhane, chief executive of the CISI, said: “Our latest survey demonstrates the importance of the link between world events and public confidence in the UK economy, with a Brexit proving to be a serious concern for the financial services industry.”
The survey respondents are not the only ones voicing fears about what 2016 might hold. Last week, economists at the Royal Bank of Scotland issued a note warning of a “cataclysmic year” and suggested that people “sell everything except high quality bonds”.
On a more international scale, the World Bank issued a report at the start of the month cautioning that weak recovery in emerging markets could hinder prospects for global growth this year.