(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Few adults in Britain hold positive views on their domestic economy, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. Only 12 per cent of respondents rate the economic conditions in the United Kingdom as good or very good, down two points since January.

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.

In January, 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.

Last month, British chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling defended the current government’s policies, saying, "My judgement is that halving the deficit over a four-year period with the structural deficit coming down by two-thirds, is the right [course of action]."

Polling Data

How would you rate the economic conditions in the United Kingdom today?

 

Feb. 2010

Jan. 2010

Oct. 2009

Very Good / Good

12%

14%

6%

Poor / Very Poor

85%

83%

90%

Not sure

3%

2%

3%

Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 2,006 British adults, conducted on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, 2010. Margin of error is 2.2 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)