A new report from the Pew Research Global Attitude Project highlights that the citizens of the large majority of the counties in the world are not optimistic about the current state of the economy. The introduction to the September 9th report summarizes the results of Pew’s recent survey.
“In most nations, people say their country is heading in the wrong direction and most voice the view that economic conditions are bad, according to a new 44 country survey by the Pew Research Center conducted among 48,643 respondents from March 17 to June 5, 2014.”
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Although the whys and wherefores of the increasingly glum opinion on economy obviously vary from country to country, today a global median of 60% perceive their country’s economy as performing poorly. More than 64% of those surveyed in advanced economies voiced this negative opinion compared to 59% in emerging market nations. Second world or developing economies were the only group where the majority of citizens (51%) feel that their economy is doing well.
Not surprisingly to those that keep up with European news,citizens who see their country’s economy most negatively are the Greeks (where 97% say economic conditions are bad), Italians (96%), Spanish (93%) and Ukrainians (93%). More than 58% of Americans believe that the U.S. economy is not doing particularly well; and just 40% rate its performance is good.
The three countries where people feel the best about their local economic conditions are China (89%), Vietnam (87%) and Germany (85%).
Changes in opinion on economy
The Pew report points out that economic attitudes have worsened over the last year in a number of countries. In Brazil, for example, a majority of Brazilians (59%) said their economy was doing well in 2013. But today only a paltry 32% maintain the same perspective. Of note, there was also a 15% decline in sanguine economic views in Venezuela and 13 point drop-offs in Argentina and Malaysia.
However, over the last 12 months, the opinion on economy has brightened in a number of countries. For example, in the UK and Pakistan, only 15% and 17% of the public, respectively, thought the economy was doing well in 2013. UK citizens perspective of their economic conditions are up this year by 28 points to 43%. The view of the economy by the average Pakistani has also improved by 20 points to 37%. Significant improvements in economic mood were also noted in Uganda, Israel, Indonesia, South Korea, Russia, Chile and Germany.