The ABI’s savings and protection survey for Q4 2009 shows that 31 per cent of the 2,500 adults polled expect the economy to worsen this year, compared to 22 per cent in Q3.
Only 39 per cent were optimistic about the economy in 2010, down from 52 per cent in Q3.
Thirty one per cent said that they were more concerned about their job security than they were three months ago, up from 27 per cent in Q3.
Of those surveyed, 42 per cent have started paying off their non-mortgage debt faster than before, up from 34 per cent a year ago.
ABI director of research and chief economist Dr Rebecca Driver says: “Despite continued fiscal and monetary policy intervention, consumer perceptions of the economic prospects and their own job security in 2010 have deteriorated.
“These findings highlight how important it is for any government to deliver policies that appeal to consumers’ increasing sense of financial responsibility, helping more people become financially independent by increasing saving as well as reducing debt.”