This data set documents public confidence in the economy, drawn on data gathered between 1977 and 1985. The first six columns indicate measures of confidence:
1 got a lot better
2 got a little better
3 stayed the same
4 got a little worse
5 got a lot worse
These responses were then scored so that very optimistic responses were given a score from plus 2 to -2, moving from top to bottom. Scores were multiplied by numbers of respondents opting for each statement, and then added together to give the score overall.
These questions were asked at different intervals, as represented in each column:
1. Month; e.g. 7701 is January 1977
2. How do you think the general economic situation in this country has changed over the last 12 months?
3. How did think the general economic situation in this country will develop over the next 12 months?
4. How does the financial situation of your household compare with what it was 12 months ago?
5. How do you think the financial situation of your household will change over the next 12 months?
6. Had you think the level of unemployment (I mean the number of people out of work) in the country as a whole, will change over the next 12 months?
The next column asks a differenet question with responses scored in the same way as in the first 6 columns:
7. By comparison with what is happening now, d'you think that in the next 12 months: there will be a more rapid increase in prices; prices will increase at the same rate; prices will increase at a slower rate; prices will be stable; prices will fall slightly
The next columns record more objective indicators of the performance of the economy:
8. Longer leading cyclical indicator of the performance of the economy, as at September 1986; index formed from movements in the Financial Times 500 share index, the rate of interest, the financial surplus/deficit of industrial and commercial companies (deflated), the number of new dwellings started and the Confederation of British Industry's quarterly survey of optimism in British industry.
9. Median weekly gross household income from all sources; pounds
10. Total unemployed claimants in Great Britain without any adjustment; thousands
11. Retail Prices Index; all-items with no seasonal adjustment; 15th January, 1974 = 100.
12. 'Conservative' in answer to question 'If there was a General Election tomorrow, which party would you support?' (excluding don't knows who couldn't be persuaded to name a party)
13. 'Labour' as column 12
14. 'Alliance' as column 12
15. Do you approve or disapprove of the Government's record to date? Proportion replying 'approve' minus proportion replying 'disapprove'.