UK Markets close in 2 hrs 14 mins

Brits Hit By 'Never-Ending Recession' Fears

(c) Sky News 2012

Five years after the collapse of Northern Rock, a survey shows that many Britons believe the economic gloom will never end.

The poll found that 14% of Brits believe their finances will never be the same again, while 47% doubt recovery will happen any time soon.

A further 18% of the country believes that the gloomy economic outlook will go on forever.

The survey by MoneySupermarket (Xetra: A0MW73 - news) .com showed how with the Bank of England base rate sitting at an historic low, saving and credit rates show little parity.

The website said that while the average saving rate has dropped by 3.28% since 2007, savers still benefit from a rate six times that of the 0.5% base rate.

Although mortgage borrowers enjoy reduced rates, first time buyers continue to struggle.

Similarly, credit card rates have increased by 2.03%, despite the low base rate.

Recessionary fears adversely affect an economy when belt-tightening spreads across society - known by economists as the paradox of thrift.

Meanwhile, according to insurance giant Axa (Paris: FR0000120628 - news) , austerity has now impacted Britain's rich.

The firm's big money index showed that austerity is now firmly gripping more affluent consumers as a third of higher earners switched supermarkets and dipped into savings to make ends meet.

It also showed that almost one in seven Brits across all groups cannot see a time when their income will cover their outgoings, rising to 20% among the most 'stretched' consumers.

Axa said the relentless squeeze on household finances was seemingly too much to face for some, and 6% of 'under-funded seniors' did not know how much debt they had on cards and loans.

It said 15% of young professionals and 11% of 'the stretched' actively avoided opening bank statements.

Axa UK marketing director Cheryl Toner said: "A pattern of relentless economising has set in since our big money index surveys began in early 2011, and it's showing no signs of easing.

"It's alarming to see that even those deemed 'untouchable', the more comfortable sectors, are now feeling the pinch.

"Severe cutbacks are evident almost regardless of affluence levels."

More From Sky News