LONDON (Reuters) – British households’ pessimism about their finances eased this month, as for the first time this year they took a positive view of the outlook for the next 12 months and enjoyed higher earnings, a monthly survey showed on Monday.
The IHS Markit Household Finance Index rose to 43.8 in June from May’s 42.8, remaining below the 50-mark that separates optimism from pessimism, as it has throughout the survey’s 10-year history.
“The unclear path towards Brexit still lingers in the background, while uncertainty has been brought about by the end of Theresa May’s tenure as Prime Minister,” IHS Markit economist Joe Hayes said.
However, a forward-looking component of the index rose above the 50-mark for the first time since November 2018, and employment earnings rose at a fairly strong rate.
Britain’s job market has remained a bright spot for the economy over the past couple of years at a time when uncertainty about leaving the European Union has depressed business investment.
The unemployment rate has fallen steadily to its lowest since 1975 and wage growth has slowly picked up, with official data for April showing the biggest annual rise for a decade in pay, excluding bonuses.
(Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce)