Labour's Ed Balls has overtaken Chancellor George Osborne as the voters' choice as best person to run the economy, according to a new poll.
Mr Osborne's rating as "most capable chancellor" slumped in the Ipsos Mori survey to 29%, from 36% before his much-criticised Budget in March.
Meanwhile, the monthly political monitor showed confidence in Mr Balls rising two points to 37% over the same period.
It is the first time the shadow chancellor has outpolled Mr Osborne in a survey for the company since the general election, and will be taken by Labour's high command as a sign that the party is winning back its reputation for economic credibility.
Almost half (47%) of those questioned said they did not like Mr Osborne, compared to around a third (36%) who did like him.
More than half (54%) said they did not like the Chancellor's policies, while three in 10 (29%) said they did like his policies.
Half (50%) said they thought the British economy would get worse in the next 12 months compared to 18% who thought it would improve.
But Ipsos Mori's head of political research, Gideon Skinner, said that the falling confidence in Mr Osborne did not necessarily translate into an increase in support for Mr Balls.
Mr Skinner said: "As economic pessimism is on the up, George Osborne's reputation is suffering. But the biggest rise is among those who think neither of the main parties has the answer."
The poll gave Labour a nine-point lead over the Conservatives, with 40% of those questioned saying they would vote for Ed Miliband's party in a general election (down three points since May), against 31% (down two) for Tories and 10% (up one) for Liberal Democrats.