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British economic optimism is among lowest in the world

British economic optimism is among lowest in the world
Britons are among the most negative about the economy in the world – ranking alongside Italy, France and Japan according to January’s Economic Global Pulse from Ipsos’ Global @advisor, online research conducted in 24 countries.

The news that just one in ten (13%) Britons rate the economy as good and the same number (12%) are optimistic about the next six months comes as a further blow to the Coalition following a difficult week in which saw a the announcement that the UK economy shrank at the end of last year, a rise in unemployment, increasing fuel prices and a rise in inflation.

Optimism has improved for many countries since the low point of 2008. Citizens of Sweden, Germany, South Korea and Canada are significantly happier now with the current state of their economy than they were two years ago. However, that rise has not been seen among Britons.

However, global citizens are hesitant to hold an optimistic outlook on the future of their local economy. Only 27% say they think it will be stronger in the next six months, which is down 4 points since March, 2010 (31%).

Bobby Duffy, Managing Director at Ipsos MORI, said:

“We in Britain are not the gloomiest but we’re certainly worried about the economic situation by global standards. With the cuts beginning to bite and fuel prices reaching record highs the public are wary of the next six months as well.”

Indians are the most positive about their own economy, four in five (87%) rating it as good. Those in Saudi Arabia, Australia and Sweden are also particularly satisfied with their economy, with over three quarters rating it as good.

In Europe, Germany and Sweden have the most positive citizenry, three quarters of Swedes think their economy is in a healthy situation, two thirds (63%) of Germans say the same. This compares starkly to the one in ten Brits. A similarly low number of French (12%), Spanish (7%) and Hungarians (6%) say their economy is good.

However, economic optimism for the next six months is not high among European and G8 countries. Of the G8 countries, Germany is the most positive about the future – although even in Germany only 27% expect their local economy to be stronger in six months time. The French are the most pessimistic with just four per cent expecting improvements. Just one in ten Britons are optimistic about the future of their local economy.

Americans assessment of their own economy is only slightly more optimistic than that of Britons – one in five (19%) think their economy is good and the same amount (20%) expect it to be stronger in six months time.

BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) often seen as the emerging economic powers are – with the exception of Russia – among the most optimistic. Three quarters of Brazilians (78%), three in five (61%) Indians and 44% of Chinese think their economy will get stronger. By contrast just 16% of Russians expect improvement.


For more information please contact Ashish Prashar on 07775 501 839 or 020 7437 3949

Notes to Editors

Global @advisor is a monthly online survey conducted by Ipsos via the Ipsos Online Panel system. The countries reporting herein are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America. A total sample of 18,676 adults were interviewed for this survey: aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, with approximately 1,000+ individuals on a country by country basis with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey, where each have a sample approximately 500+. Weighting was employed to balance demographics and ensure the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country Census data available and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.

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Tom Mludzinski
Tom Mludzinski

Former Deputy Head of Political Research