UK Economy

UK household morale slides at start of 2016

LONDON (Reuters) - British households’ financial situation worsened in January to the weakest in five months as jobs became scarcer and less secure, a survey for data company Markit showed on Wednesday.

Markit said its Household Finance Index also showed that the proportion of Britons expecting an interest rates rise over the coming 12 months had risen to its highest since September at 71 percent, despite little sign that the BoE is readying a move.

“Underpinning financial woes were worries about job security, slower growth of workplace activity and faster reductions in savings and cash available to spend,” Markit economist Philip Leake said.

Britain’s robust economic growth has lost pace in recent months as the global economy slows, and on Tuesday Bank of England Governor Mark Carney steered clear of signalling an imminent rise in rates from their current record low.

Markit said households reported the weakest growth in workplace activity in 31 months, and the most widespread worries about job security since early 2014.

Official figures on unemployment due for release at 0930 GMT are forecast to show the jobless rate held steady at 5.2 percent in the final quarter of 2015 and a further slowdown in wage growth.

Polling company Ipsos-MORI carried out the survey for Markit between Jan. 13 and Jan. 17, when it conducted 1,500 online interviews with adults aged 18 to 64.

Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce