British households have maintained a confident economic outlook for the second successive month, according to YouGov’s monthly Household Economic Activity Tracker (HEAT) Index.
HEAT shows more Britons were positive than negative about their economic situation in April, building on a return to the black in March. It is the first time since June 2010 that such confidence has been maintained. The Index was broadly unchanged in April at 100.2, after March produced the highest reading in almost three years.
The continuing confidence came as high-income households grew more upbeat about their finances last month. 14% of households with an annual income of more than £50,000 said that their financial situation improved in April – more than at any time over the past four years. However, less well-off households continue to struggle, with 9% of the general population thinking their financial situation got better last month.
Stephen Harmston, head of SixthSense at YouGov, said: “The continuing confidence among British households is an encouraging sign, especially in light of the UK avoiding a triple-dip recession. The increasing optimism among high earners is a particularly positive sign for the economy and builds on the upward trends we have seen in our figures since the start of the year. Consumers are approaching the summer months with a confidence not seen for the last few years.”
26% of British workers say activity at their place of work improved between March and April, with 35% expecting improvement over the coming year. Employees in London are particularly buoyant, being the most upbeat about activity at their place of work since the survey began at the beginning of 2009. 33% of workers in the capital said that business grew last month with just 8% reporting lower activity.
Dominic White, chief European economist at ASR, said: “The April pick-up in business activity is a positive development but, for many, household finances remain under pressure. Still, if workers are correct to expect further growth over the coming year, improving business conditions are likely to be reflected in higher employment and households should see their financial situation beginning to ease.”