Skip to Content

BBC Radio 5 Live Economy Poll

Survey of public attitudes towards the recession, published 15 June 2009

Date Published: 14 Jun 2009

Categories: Economy | Public and communities | Retail & Consumer | UK





·        Two thirds personally know someone who has lost their job

·        Three quarters trying to spend less

·        Four in ten people worried about losing their own job

·        Young more positive than older people

·        Three quarters less interested in money and possessions



Just over half  (52%) of Britons think  the economy will not improve for a while ; around a third (34%) think the economy will get worse and just over one in ten (12%) think things are starting to improve.


These were the stark findings of a poll commissioned by BBC Radio 5 Live as part of a day long look at the perceptions and realities of Britain’s economy from across the UK on  BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday (15th July).


The perception of prospective personal fortunes is evenly split. The percentage who expect their personal financial circumstances will improve over the next 12 months is the same as that of those who expect they will get worse, with 58% saying they expect their personal situation will stay the same. 


Only 12% of people aged 65+ expect an improvement at all compared with 36% of 18-24 year olds. When asked who to credit for any economic improvement, the coordinated actions of governments across the world has most credit (31%) followed by the British Government (21%).


When asked what they saw as the strongest indicator that that economy is recovering, the responses were as follows  ; spending  more in the shops (70%),   followed by  house price rises (69%),  share price rises (68%),  availability of credit  (63%), no longer  worrying about losing my job (48%) and  media reports that the economy is improving (46%).


Change to consumer habits


·        Shopping habits have changed as a result of the recession according to the poll :

-          75% ‘simply try to spend less’

-          69% are ‘more aware of the price of things than I used to be’

-          63% ‘buy less on impulse than I used to’ (72% women, 54% men)

-          47% think they are ‘better at budgeting than I was before the recession’

-          46% ‘try to put more money aside into savings’

-          51% are ‘less inclined to use a credit card or overdraft’

-          20% ‘shop more online than I used to’

-          73% are ‘more inclined now to think there’s more to life than money and possessions’


·        However, people think Britain has changed only modestly as a result of the recession:

-          76% think ‘people are more likely to live within their means’ – the strongest expectation of change

-          BUT more people think the Government is not likely to rely less on borrowing to balance its books than think it is likely (50% to 45%)

-          59% disagree that ‘people will be less greedy’

-          And 59% disagree that ‘people will be less worried about the impact of future recessions’


·        On Job losses:

-          four in ten people are ‘worried about losing my job during the recession’

-          67% ‘know someone personally who has lost their job during the recession’

-          69% say ‘it would be very damaging financially to me or my household if I lost my job’.

View Press and Polls

Read More