Britons are in a slough of despond over their personal finances, with only one in four rating their current financial situation as strong, according to a poll.
Against a backdrop of rising dole queues and high inflation, the pessimistic mood puts Britons on a par with Mexico, South Africa and Spain, according to Ipsos MORI's survey of more than 18,000 people.
Britain also saw the sharpest fall in financial confidence across all 24 countries surveyed in November except France. Just one in five Britons expect their personal financial situation to be stronger in the next six months, although the French and Italians are particularly downbeat, with just 9 per cent and 13 per cent foreseeing any improvement.
Fears over job losses are also hitting nearly one in five of British workers.
Hungarians and Mexicans are living in most fear of the axe, while workers in Sweden and Germany are the most confident over employment prospects.