The World Still Pessimistic about Economic Growth


Almost six years after the global recession, economies are on a slow path to recovery, but public opinions show dissatisfaction. A new survey found that the world is still pessimistic about global economy, with 60% of the people saying their country is headed in the wrong direction.

The latest report from Pew Research Center says there is no rise in economic optimism – people are not satisfied with the living and economic conditions and they are feeling gloomy about the future. On average, 60% of the population surveyed across 44 countries is pessimistic. People in advanced economies have the worst opinions, while developing countries are more optimistic – 51% of the residents say their economies are doing well.

Logically, countries where despair is deepest are those most affected by the recession and the European debt crisis. 97% of the people in Greece, 96% of Italians and 93% of Spaniards say conditions in their countries are bad. In all three, unemployment is high – 13% in Italy, 25% in Spain and 27% in Greece, and for several years, there has been political instability, notably in Italy where several governments failed to regain the public trust. Brazil shows the steepest fall in confidence – while in 2013, 59% of the people were positive, the percentage drops to only 32 in 2014.

However, not everyone is unhappy with where the world is going to. For 89% of the people in China, the economic conditions are great and for 87% of them they only going to get better. The other economically happy nations are the Vietnamese and the Germans, where 87% and 85% of the residents respectively are satisfied. Opinions in Malaysia are also brightening – 72% of the people say the current situation in their country is good and 72% expect better future.

Regionally, the largest unease about current conditions is in Europe, where 77% of the people are unhappy, followed by Latin America (74%) and the Middle East (72%). And the least satisfaction is in Asia, although researchers say this isn’t much of an improvement.

But the survey included only 44 countries and less than 50,000 people. Some regions will certainly improve their status in the survey if all nations speak up. For instance, Asia seems the most positive about economic future, but many of the poorest and unhappiest nations there weren’t surveyed.

In the Middle East, on the other hand, only several economies were polled – Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories, most of which are affected by conflict and uncertainty.


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