August 18, 2016 / 12:55 PM / 3 years ago

Britons less gloomy about economy in August - poll

Shoppers walk past stores on New Bond Street in London, Britain July 9, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britons turned less pessimistic about the economy in August than in July, an opinion poll showed, a latest sign that the short-term impact on consumers from the decision to quit the European Union may have been milder than expected.

Forty-three percent of respondents in the Ipsos MORI poll expected the economy to worsen over the next year, down from 57 percent in July.

The proportion expecting the economy to improve rose to 28 percent from 23 percent, the poll published on Thursday showed.

Official figures published this week have shown little sign of an immediate Brexit hit to consumers or to the labour market although inflation pressures caused by a slump in sterling have begun to build, something that could eat into spending power.

“Conservative (Party) voters in particular have become more optimistic this month, reflecting their positive feelings towards their new government and prime minister,” Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, said.

Theresa May took over as prime minister in July.

Britain voted to leave the European Union on June 23, raising the risk of a recession and prompting the Bank of England to cut interest rates for the first time since 2009.

Economists say it will take time for the impact of the Brexit vote on the economy to appear in official data. Some surveys have pointed to a slowdown in growth.

Reporting by Ana Nicolaci da Costa; editing by William Schomberg

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