The credit crunch at the end of 2007 was the starting point of a financial meltdown in mid 2008, which later became a global recession; and now some financial experts are warning that we are heading into a "dangerous phase" and on the brink of a "double dip" recession.

Since January 2002 NEMS market research have been monitoring the financial wellbeing of adults across the UK, during which time an overall sample of more than 200,000 has been amassed - averaging around 6,000 respondents per quarter. This sample were asked to rate their financial wellbeing compared to the previous 6 month period; respondents could respond as being better off, worse off or about the same.

In the Spring of 2008 an additional dimension to the wellbeing data was added with respondents also being asked to state how they think they will feel in the next 6 months, compared to now; therefore allowing us to measure and compare the projected wellbeing against their experienced (or comparative) wellbeing.

By taking how people thought they would feel in 6 months' time, and charting this against how they currently feel (compared to the past 6 months) it is possible to predict the financial wellbeing of the UK populous 6 months in advance.

Our historic data shows that in mid-2008 there was a steep and steady decline in comparative financial wellbeing, which bottomed out in the fall of 2008 (around the time of the financial meltdown); after which the projected wellbeing for the first 10 months of 2009 appeared to be stagnant - closely matching the comparative data recorded. The data then showed that the first half of 2010 would see a moderate increase in outlook (matched again by the comparative data); yet, between the Summer of 2010 and the Spring of 2011 a steady decrease in wellbeing was accurately projected (similar to that recorded in 2008, in terms of serveity but far shorter in duration).

The comparative / historical data thus far appears to indicate we were heading for a "double dip" recession (most likely to occur just after Christmas 2011), yet the projected data gives a more optimistic outlook. It forecasts that we are about to either begin the steady climb back to a more positive financial outlook over the course of the next 6 months, or have managed to delay a possible "double dip" recession for perhaps the next 6-12 months. The degree of financial wellbeing currently is at the same level as that recorded in the Spring of 2009 (which was the start of the period of stagnation in 2009), while projections for the next 6 months are that we will be approaching a position similar to that seen not long after the 10 month period of stagnation - with the key being to maintain any positive financial outlook and confidence.

We have recently included a study into the link between mental health and financial wellbeing / outlook, the results of which will be available in an upcoming mini report (which will be freely available to download).