BMG’s latest Public Perceptions of the Economy (PPE) tracker results reveal a collapse in public optimism for the national economy, down 28 points on September, down 39 points since October last year (Net +2 Oct 2015 vs Net -37 Oct 2016). Optimism lowest point since BMG started PPE trackers in 2015.

Public optimism on household finances has also fallen sharply, down 15 points since September, and down 20 points since the beginning of the year.

Confidence in the chancellor stabilises, but remains negative at -20 points.


Confidence in Chancellor stabilises, but remains negative.

Results for confidence in the chancellor remain stable since September. Since Theresa May sacked George Osborne as Chancellor and replaced him with Philip Hammond in early July, confidence in the Chancellor to manage the national economy soared. The Chancellor’s net economic approval rating rose 36 percentage points from -49% to -13% in July. Now in October Hammond’s net approval rating is -20% while McDonnell’s is -35%.

Also in this release are PPE indicators for UK household finances and the national economy, both of which have seen a decline in optimism.


National Economic Optimism

National economic optimism, the public’s view of how the national economy will change in the coming 12 months, saw a steady decline since April from -17% to -24% in August. In September this uplifted fifteen percentage points to -9%.  However October has seen a sharp decline to -37%.

Personal Financial Optimism

Personal financial optimism, the public’s view of how their household finances will change in the coming 12 months increased steadily from –9% to -5% between July and September. However, October data shows optimism has sharply declined to -20%, the lowest since the trackers began in October 2015.


National Economic Performance

The public’s view of national economic performance over the previous 12 months has fallen since September from -13% to -40% in October.

Personal Financial Performance

Though personal financial performance scores, that is net perceptions of how people’s household finances have changed over the previous 12 months, had risen from -18% to -12% in August, they have fallen again in September to -16%, then remaining relatively stable in October at -17%.


Dawn Hands – Managing Director of BMG Research said

“Net consumer confidence for household finances over the coming 12 months has tumbled in just four weeks, from -5.0% in September 2016 to -20.1% in October. The lowest point in the last twelve months of BMG’s polling.

“This change, which spanned the period of Tesco’s and Unilever’s heated discussions over (amongst other things) Marmite, is reflected across all demographic groups, meaning that irrespective of income, where you live or whether you own or rent your home, you are now more likely to be gloomy than optimistic about your future 12 month’s finances.

“Interestingly, those on higher incomes appear to have lost their net positive outlook. In September those earning £30k+ were on balance more positive than negative about their future financial outlook (+2.4%). However, just a month later, this group are much more pessimistic in their outlook, with a negative net balance of more than 20%.

“Importantly, those who are responsible for doing the day-to-day household shopping are much more negative in their outlook than those who don’t have this responsibility.

“Bottom line is, the results of our polling suggest that higher earners and higher spenders are more likely to be looking to tighten their belts over the coming months.”


Fieldwork dates and methodology can be found here.

A full breakdown of these results can be found here soon.

For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.


0121 333 6006




Lauren Harris – Senior Research Executive




Dawn Hands – Managing Director

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