(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – People in Britain are not ready to say that their domestic economy is doing well, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 83 per cent of respondents rate the economic conditions in the United Kingdom as poor or very poor.

Since 2007, defaults on so-called subprime mortgages—credit given to high-risk borrowers—in the United States caused volatility in domestic and global financial markets and ultimately pushed the U.S. economy into a recession. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The crisis has affected the global financial and credit systems, and triggered layoffs in companies around the world.

Britain has been hit hard by the global financial crisis. In 2007, the British Northern Rock bank—a prominent mortgage lender—was forced to seek emergency funding from the government. Brown’s administration has intervened to save bankrupt banks and boost the economy. In November 2008, Brown introduced a "shock-treatment" stimulus package to jump-start the country’s economy through tax cuts, increased government spending and a greater role in government lending. The package was valued at $31 billion U.S.

On Jan. 26, the Office of National Statistics showed that the UK economy grew by 0.1 per cent in the last quarter of 2009, ending six consecutive quarters of contraction. British chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling declared: "There are many bumps along the way, we are not out of the woods yet, so I think my caution is right. (…) You can see there’s a lot of uncertainty. Therefore you would expect as we come out of recession things to fluctuate."

Polling Data

How would you rate the economic conditions in the UK today?


Jan. 2010

Aug. 2009

Very Good / Good



Poor / Very Poor



Not sure



Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 2,004 British adults, conducted on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27, 2010. Margin of error is 2.2 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)