Job fears spike in December


Job fears spike in December
Concern over job security in the UK hit a six-month high in December, the latest figures claimed today.

The consumer barometer from Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets shows that confidence in the British job market has slumped three points to minus four.

The survey, which follows the global credit crunch and the crippling of Northern Rock, shows that perception of prices in Britain is also worsening.

According to the Lloyds TSB data, three-quarters of respondents thought that prices were higher now than this time last year – sending the barometer to an all-time high.

A further 81 per cent of people believe that prices will rise further in the new year.

Trevor Williams, chief economist at Lloyds TSB Corporate markets, admits that the data "does not bode well for the new year".

"This combination [of job worries and price concerns] could dampen consumer spending and have a knock-on negative impact on the housing market," he explained.

But, conversely, UK residents are increasingly confident, Lloyds TSB says, over interest rates.

One in four people told the bank that the expected interest rates to increase from 5.5 per cent in 2008, compared to the 43 per cent and 75 per cent of people who thought the same in November and June respectively.

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