Public confidence among Scots in the economy grows a little but remains in the doldrums
Scottish Public Opinion Monitor 2012
Amid mixed news about the state of the UK and Scottish economies, our latest survey reveals that pessimism among the public still outweighs optimism although there has been an upturn in opinion in recent months.
Around one in six Scots (16%) believe that the condition of the Scottish economy will improve in the next year compared to nearly three times that number (45%) who think conditions will worsen, giving a net optimism score of -29%, an improvement of 14 points from December 2011. Optimism in the UK economy has also shown signs of improvement although opinion remains downbeat and confidence lags behind the Scottish economy. Around six in 10 Scots (59%) think the state of the UK economy will worsen in the next 12 months while just 12% think it will improve, giving a net optimism score of -47%, an improvement of 18 points from December.
Optimism in the prospects for the Scottish economy is strongest among young people and among those who support the SNP, 26% of whom think the Scottish economy will improve in the next year, while over half of Labour and Conservative supports think that economic conditions in Scotland will worsen in 2012.
Mark Diffley, Research Director at Ipsos MORI Scotland said:
“Our survey reveals that the overriding view among Scots is one of economic gloom. The picture has improved a little since December 2011 but it is too early to say whether this is a longer-term sign of optimism growing. We saw some tentative signs of growing optimism in April only for record levels of pessimism to be recorded later in 2011. There is now also an 18 point difference between attitudes to the Scottish and UK economies, driven to some extent by supporters of the SNP who feel far more upbeat about economic prospects in Scotland than for the UK as a whole.”
- Results are based on a survey of 1,005 respondents conducted by telephone between 27th January and 29th January 2012.
- Data are weighted by age, sex and working status using census data, and tenure using SHS 2007-2008 data, and by public-private sector employment by Scottish Government Quarterly Public Sector Series data.
- An asterisk (*) indicates a percentage of less than 0.5% but greater than 0.
- Where results do not sum to 100, this may be due to multiple responses or computer rounding.
- Where the base size is less than 30 the number (N) rather than the percentage of respondents is given.