UK Markets close in 5 hrs 55 mins

Brits haven’t been this gloomy about the economy since 2011

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
The city of London under dark storm clouds. Photo: Getty

Brits are more pessimistic about the UK’s general economic prospects than at any point since 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Even though all objective measures of economic well-being increased in the three months to the end of March, the expected general economic situation for the next 12 months is now worse than at any point since the last quarter of 2011.

Despite record-low unemployment rates, people living in the UK are also the most pessimistic about the potential for higher unemployment than at any point since 2013.

The findings come as part of the latest personal and economic well-being bulletin from the ONS.

Disposable income per head, real household disposable income per head, household spending per head, and net financial wealth per head all increased in the first quarter of 2019.

READ MORE: Recession fears as UK economy unexpectedly shrinks

But that came hand-in-hand with “very little change” in the well-being of those living in the UK.

“Happiness is the only measure of personal well-being to show any significant change in the year ending March 2019,” the ONS said on Monday, noting that average ratings of life satisfaction and whether people found the things they were doing in life “worthwhile” had remained level.

Around 4.2 million people continue to report “low” levels of happiness, the ONS said, while average anxiety in the UK has remained flat.

The stats come after separate data from the ONS last week revealed that, in the second quarter of 2019, the UK economy unexpectedly contracted for the first time in seven years.

The figures, which showed that the UK economy shrunk by 0.2% between April and June, prompted fears of a recession as Britain edges closer to October’s Brexit deadline.

Analysts had only expected economic growth to flatline at 0%, but several industry surveys in recent months have painted a stark picture of the country’s economic health.