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A median of 56% nevertheless believe that when those who are children today in their countries grow up they will be better off financially than their parents.
A median of 56% nevertheless believe that when those who are children today in their countries grow up they will be better off financially than their parents.

Global Publics More Upbeat About Economy

In 11 of 18 countries from across the globe that were surveyed in 2016 and 2017, publics feel more positive about their economy than they did a year ago

Global Publics More Upbeat About Economy

Nearly a decade after the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, economic spirits are reviving. Many Europeans, Japanese and Americans feel better today about their economies than they did before the financial crisis.
More broadly, in 11 of 18 countries from across the globe that were surveyed in both 2016 and 2017, publics feel more positive about their economy than they did a year ago. The Dutch, Germans, Swedes and Indians see their national economies in the most positive light, pewglobal survey report says.
While global publics are increasingly upbeat about economic conditions, the overall view of the economy is still in negative territory in many countries. Overall, a median of only 46% in the 32 nations surveyed this year say their current economy is doing well.
Across five large European economies, Japan and the United States, public assessment of national economic conditions is now more positive than it was in 2007, immediately before the global financial crisis.
Nearly six-in-ten Americans (58%) believe the economic situation in the US is good. The US economy has experienced roughly 80 months of job growth and the unemployment rate was only 4.9% in 2016. In the spring of 2009, when the jobless rate was 9.3%, just 17% thought economic conditions were good. In 2007, before the economic downturn, 50% said conditions were favorable.
In France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Britain, a median of 51% now give their economy a positive grade. This comes in the wake of an average 1.7% growth in 2016 in the five European Union countries and an unemployment rate of 7.4%. The public’s view of the economy is up from a low of 15% across the five EU nations in 2013, when their economies grew at an annual average of only 0.6% and joblessness stood at 9.0%. In 2007, a median of 36% in those countries said their economic situation was good.
In Japan, 41% now voice the view that their economy is doing well. The Japanese economy grew by 0.8% in 2016, with unemployment at 3.1%. In 2012, despite economic growth at 1.7%, only 7% held the view that their economy was good—possibly because the unemployed accounted for 4.4% of the labor force. In 2007, before the financial crisis, 28% of Japanese said economic conditions were good.
These are among the key findings of a new Pew Research Center survey conducted among 34,788 respondents in 32 countries from Feb. 16 to April 28, 2017.

Advanced Economies More Upbeat
The modest but sustained economic recoveries in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan and the US since the 2007-2008 financial crisis have finally buoyed public spirits about economic conditions in those countries. A median of 51% in the 17 advanced economies surveyed believe that their current economic situation is good, 45% think it’s bad. Strong upbeat sentiment in northern Europe in particular offsets quite downbeat views in southern Europe and South Korea.
Emerging market and developing economies have slowed in recent years, especially in key nations in Africa and Latin America, and public opinion in those societies reflects that slowdown. Only 45% in the 15 emerging and developing markets surveyed voice the view that current economic conditions in their nation are good, 54% believe they are bad. Positive views in India and the Philippines are offset by very negative sentiment in Venezuela and Brazil.

Next Generation Better Off
While publics in emerging markets and developing countries are not that happy about their current economic condition, a median of 56% nevertheless believe that when those who are children today in their countries grow up they will be better off financially than their parents. Just 38% voice the view that they will be worse off. Indians (76%), Nigerians (72%) and Chileans (69%) are particularly optimistic about economic prospects for the next generation.
Publics in advanced economies are quite pessimistic about young people’s financial prospects, just 34% believe they will be better off than the current generation. Such despair is particularly strong in Greece, Japan, France, Australia, Canada, Spain and the UK, where roughly seven-in-ten people say today’s children will be worse off.

Economic Sentiment Improved
In most nations surveyed, public views of the economic situation in their country are up, whether measured from 2015 to 2017 or 2016 to 2017.
In Russia, the share of the population that says the economy is good has almost doubled, from 24% in 2015 to 46% in 2017. This improvement came despite the fact that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that the Russian economy actually contracted in 2016.
Over that same period, there has been a 21-point improvement in the public’s assessment of economic conditions in Indonesia and a 20-point uptick in Ghana.
In just the past year, from 2016 to 2017, economic sentiment has improved by 25 points in the Netherlands and 15 points in Spain.
The greatest erosion in public contentment with the economy has been in Italy (down 18 points since 2016), where economic satisfaction is now back to roughly 2015 levels, and in Argentina (down 15 points since 2015).

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