Britain's households are more pessimistic than ever about Brexit

LONDON — Britain’s households have become increasingly pessimistic about the country’s economic prospects after Brexit, according to survey data from analytics firm Markit.

The findings are based on a representative cross-section of the British population that participate in the monthly Markit Household Finance Index, which is compiled from data from 1,500 respondents collected by polling firm Ipsos MORI.

The results come as Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to trigger Article 50 on Wednesday.

The survey found that the proportion of people expecting the economy to fare better over the next ten years as a result of Brexit has fallen to 29% from 39% last July.

Meanwhile, the proportion who think the UK’s economic prospects have got worse has risen from 42% to 53%, resulting in a net balance of -24% — down sharply from the -3.5% last July.

The data also shows that the country’s lowest income group has shifted from being the most optimistic about the economic impact of Brexit to the most pessimistic.

Take a look at the breakdown by income group below:

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at Markit, said: “Whereas opinions on the long-term impact of Brexit were finely balanced in the immediate aftermath of last June’s vote (albeit leaning towards pessimism), a negative view of the economic consequences has become increasingly apparent and widespread.

“Pessimism has now spread to all age groups and income brackets. Shortly after the referendum, the older generations and the very poorest families were the exceptions in considering Brexit to be beneficial to the long-term health of the economy. However, even these pockets of the population have now become pessimistic.

“The most marked turnaround is evident among the poorest paid, who have switched from being the most optimistic to now being the most downbeat.”

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