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Economy now top concern for Britons: survey

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 01:46

Britons are now more concerned about the economy than they are about terrorism or immigration, a survey showed on Tuesday, another sign that consumers are feeling increasingly worried about Britain's decision to leave the European Union. As David Pollard reports, the findings come amid signs or rising pressures on prices - and fears over wage growth.

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It looks like a campaign for a united Europe. But it's what a broken Europe might do that worries these protesters. Keen to show solidarity with migrants - and their contribution to the UK economy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRO-MIGRANT PROTESTER, MELANIE SIMCOCK, SAYING: "If migrants did stop working in this country, then our hospitals would grind to a halt." (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRO-MIGRANT PROTESTER, MATTHIAS FEIST, SAYING: "This idea that there is a finite labour market and if all the migrants went, those jobs would have gone to British people, just doesn't work." And more migrants might even be a bit less scary than before for other Britons. In a new survey, the economy displacing both immigration and terrorism as top concerns for consumers. As a Brexit-weakened pound pushes prices higher. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIDELITY INTERNATIONAL, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, TOM STEVENSON, SAYING: "Inflation is rising faster. That means that real purchasing power for consumers is being squeezed and we're definitely seeing that on the high street." Mark Carney has been looking at the other side of that equation. Earnings growth, he says, could actually slide this year - from 2.7 to 2.2 per cent. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BANK OF ENGLAND GOVERNOR, MARK CARNEY, SAYING: "I think one can only explain that by some degree of uncertainty and employers having a bit more ... the balance of bargaining power shifting a bit more to employers than from workers in this environment of uncertainty. But we will see." And consumers perhaps not the only ones facing bigger bills. Britain needs to confront its Brexit future, according to Jean-Claude Juncker. (SOUNDBITE) (French) EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, SAYING: "It will be a tough negotiation ..... The British people have to know it will not be at zero cost ... So the bill will be, to put it a bit crudely, very hefty." An unwelcome message for the UK government as it prepares for the deal-making ahead.

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Economy now top concern for Britons: survey

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 01:46