Research reveals the most economically optimistic countries

by Ray Clancy on September 15, 2014

People in different countries are still cagey about the global recession which struck six years ago with many wary about economic recovery, new research has found.

A median of 46% of people across 44 countries surveyed by the US-based Pew Research Centre expect their economy to improve. Some 26% say conditions will remain the same and 20% think it will worsen.


A median of 46% of those surveyed think their country’s economy will improve

The public is upbeat in a handful of nations and particularly pessimistic in a number of others. These expectations are generally in line with economists’ predictions, but not always.

If you are looking for a sunny economic outlook then head for what used to be called the ‘third world’ countries. In China, 80% expect the economic situation in their country to improve in the next 12 months, followed by 77% in Peru, 74% in Vietnam, 73% in Senegal, 72% in Nigeria, 71% in India and 70% in Colombia.

However, economic forecasters at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expect little improvement in most of these economies over the next year. The exception is India, where the IMF foresees the Indian economy accelerating from 5.4% in 2014 to 6.4% in 2015. In China, public optimism is at odds with an IMF prediction that the economy will actually slow slightly, from 7.4% in 2014 to 7.1% in 2015.

The most pessimistic countries include three from Europe. Some of 53% of Greeks anticipate economic conditions worsening over the next 12 months. Greece saw its economy shrink by 3.9% in 2013, but the IMF actually foresees the Greek economy improving from 0.6% growth in 2014 to 2.9% in 2015.

In addition, 48% of the French expect their economy to deteriorate, as do 46% of Lebanese and 44% of Palestinians. But while less than half the Lebanese surveyed expect more hard times, the IMF forecasts Lebanon’s economy to accelerate from 1% growth in 2014 to 2.5% in 2015.

Also in the pessimistic group is Argentina, where 37% expect the economy to get worse in the next year, Italy, where 36% think things will get worse and Egypt with 35%.

The United States falls somewhere between these two groups, with Americans equally divided on the future of their economy. Some 35% expect it to improve, 33% assume it will remain about the same and 30% foresee it worsening.



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