51% of British people say a global financial crisis in the next 12 months is likely – up from 40% in August
Global shares fell sharply yesterday in response to a 7% slump in China's main share index, triggering a circuit breaker that suspended trading on Chinese markets for the second time this week. China devalued the yuan for the eighth day running, making Chinese exports more competitive overseas but suggesting weak consumer demand within the country to investors. Renowned American investor George Soros warned the challenge posed to financial markets by China's adjustment "reminds me of the crisis we had in 2008", while George Osborne cautioned against complacency in a British economy exposed to global shocks.
New YouGov research reveals that most British people expect a global financial crisis this year. 51% say this is very or fairly likely compared to 28% who say it is very or fairly unlikely.
This is compared to August 2015, when the country was almost divided over the likelihood of another crisis (40% said one was likely in the next 12 months while 37% said it was not).
Whether due to wisdom or world-weariness, fully 62% of over-60s predict a global crash in the next 12 months.
George Osborne's speech yesterday, in which he told business leaders that far from "mission accomplished" on the economy, "2016 is the year of mission critical", contrasted with the tone of his Autumn Budget, when he said the UK economy was "growing fast" and watered down cuts to tax credits worth £4.4bn. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the government's "failed economic policies" were to blame for the threats facing the economy.