The poll of 2,000 people was carried out by consumer group Which?, which takes a survey every month for this on-going project.
Of those questioned in July, 36% said they believed the economy would improve over the next 12 months. However, 29% said they thought it would worsen.
The percentage of consumers rating the economy as good has more than doubled since July last year, at 13%.
Nevertheless, the results suggest people in the UK are still concerned by rising food, fuel and energy costs. In fact, one in three people have had to cut back on essential items.
Last July 59% rated the economy as poor, 30% more than this year.
Although the recent results have been described as a ‘surge of optimism’, there is still evidence to suggest people are finding the financial situation difficult.
Nearly a third of respondents said they found it difficult or very difficult to manage on the income they currently receive and 20% are anxious about job security. Over a quarter of people say they have resorted to spending their savings this month and 21% have gone overdrawn – a 4% increase on last July.
Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said: “While this surge of optimism shows that consumers are feeling more positive about the future of the economy, it isn’t filtering through to how people feel about their own personal financial situation.”
Mr Lloyd attributes the optimism to the warm weather, good British sport and the arrival of the royal baby but says this doesn’t hide the fact that millions of households are still struggling to manage.
Consumer spending is of course vital to the UK economy and if that doesn’t pick up soon, there will be little chance of recovery next year.
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