Households optimistic about finances

Ahead of Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement the tracker also showed that there had been a steady improvement in confidence in the government’s handling of the economy.

Joe Twyman, director of political and social research at for YouGov, said: “While in the main the public are still fairly negative about the economy and the government’s handling of it, George Osborne can take some comfort in the fact that this negative sentiment seems to be abating with optimism creeping in.”

Twyman said after more than two years of gloom people are going to be looking for relief so the challenge Osborne faces is to show that this Autumn Statement will positively impact ordinary households.

HEAT’s monthly index score which tracks confidence in the government’s handling of the economy stood at 74.8, a 10-point improvement over this time last year, suggesting the loss of confidence in the government is starting to ease.

The index is a scale of 0 to 200 in which 0 indicates entirely negative sentiment and 200 entirely positive sentiment.

While household finances have been on an improving trend since the middle of last year this month’s survey shows that households are also more positive about the future.

Of those surveyed 60% of respondents thought that their situation would improve or stay the same over the next 12 months, the greatest proportion since mid-2010.

And the proportion of respondents who expect the wider economy to improve has steadily risen since the summer with over a third of households expecting an economic recovery.

Dominic White, ASR chief European economist, said: “I suspect the reason people are becoming more confident in the government’s economic management is because they are looking at their own financial situation and seeing a modest improvement.

“The wider macroeconomic situation is still fraught with uncertainty but it should be encouraging to the government that people are heading into 2013 feeling better about things than they did heading into 2012.”