Poll shows British economic confidence sliding

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Economic confidence among British voters has slumped, a poll out Sunday showed, with a majority believing that the economy will show no signs of improvement any time soon.

The survey by pollsters ComRes for The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror newspapers found that 23 percent thought the economy would pick up soon, down from 67 percent in June 2009.

Some 55 percent thought it would not, up from 27 percent, while 22 percent did not express any opinion.

Asked whether the loss of hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs was a price worth paying to reduce Britain's budget deficit, 29 percent agreed, while 51 percent disagreed.

Forty-eight percent said that in most cases they had sympathy for people going on strike against public spending cuts.

The same percentage disagreed that it was better to let government borrowing go on rising than to allow more youth unemployment, with 22 percent agreeing.

Britain's economic outlook darkened Wednesday after data showing one million youngsters out of work for the first time and as the Bank of England slashed its growth forecasts, fearing more eurozone woe.

The total number of jobless jumped by 129,000 to a 17-year high 2.62 million, a 15-year peak of 8.3 percent.

Meanwhile the economy is now expected to grow by no more than 1.0 percent in 2011 and 2012.

The poll found 30 percent trusted Prime Minister David Cameron and finance minister George Osborne to make the right decisions about the economy, with 45 percent disagreeing.

As for the opposition Labour Party's top team of leader Ed Miliband and finance spokesman Ed Balls, 21 percent trusted them, while 50 percent did not.

The poll put Cameron's Conservatives on 35 percent, Labour on 39 percent, the Liberal Democrats -- the junior partner in the coalition government -- on 11 percent and other parties on 15 percent.

Some 61 percent planned to spend less money on Christmas this year.

ComRes surveyed 2,012 British adults online between Wednesday and Friday.

© 2011 AFP

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