If economic recovery is beginning to appear in the numbers and global growth is expected to reach 5.8% in 2021 (according to the OECD), what is the state of public sentiment regarding the outlook? Optimism predominates in the first observations, according to a study conducted by the American Center Pew Research Center released on July 21. Indeed, this year’s economic situation is generally more positively perceived than last year, a dark year when borders were closed to stop the epidemic of the coronavirus. However, there is one caveat. The percentage of individuals who are confident is often below pre-crisis levels.
Australia, the first champion, is the state with the strongest confidence. 74% of the population is positive about the current economic situation, which is twice that of 2020.
18% optimists: numbers that repeat during a crisis
In France, this is even more surprising, The proportion of optimistic individuals will be slightly over a quarter (26%) of the population in 2021. This optimist proportion was logically even lower in 2020, in the midst of the Covid crisis, which involved 18% of the French. Similar levels observed during the European sovereign debt crisis in 2008 (during the financial crisis) and 2012 (see table below).
Therefore, in 2021, France will continue to be one of the most pessimistic countries in Europe. Only our Italian (12%) and Spanish (13%) neighbors have even lower rates. Conversely, despite the heavy death toll associated with Covid-19, the UK has a high proportion of optimists (44%).
7 out of 10 French are pessimistic about the current situation
When asked specifically about the economic situation, 72% of French people think the economic situation is bad. In other words, it is 20 points higher than the world average (52%). Italy, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Greece and the United States also rate the economic situation as critical.
Conversely, more than three-quarters of the Nordic and Oceanian inhabitants have a positive view of the economic situation.
In addition to their pessimism about the current situation, the French, like the Japanese, are also the least confident about the future of their youth. For 77% of French, the economic situation of their children will be less stable than they are. Yes, it’s a particularly high number, but it doesn’t conflict with the overall trend. More than two-thirds of respondents in 17 countries believe that children, which sociologist Louis Chauvel calls a “generational downgrade,” suffer. In other words, the phenomenon of youth poverty today is feared by the majority of adults in developed countries.
Only Swedes and Singaporeans are mostly optimistic about the future of their youth, and Swedes are even more optimistic than 2019.
Confidence in economic recovery and confidence in government are linked
Individuals who find that governments manage the health crisis well in all countries are more active in assessing current economic conditions. Therefore, in France, pro-government people can be twice as optimistic about the economic situation as those who believe the government mismanaged the health crisis (35% of pro-Macron optimists). , Especially 18%). In Germany, the difference is even more pronounced. 79% of pro-Merkel have a positive view of the current economic situation, compared to 41% of opposition supporters.
In most countries, individuals who are pessimistic about the current state of the economy are more likely to believe that their children are in a more vulnerable economic situation than in the future. The most obvious example is the Taiwanese example. In Taiwan, 85% of individuals who are pessimistic about the current state of the economy are also pessimistic about the future of their children, and the majority of individuals (57%) who are optimistic about the economic situation are downgrading their children to generations. Don’t expect to suffer from.
Different attitudes depending on sociological profile
Age, education level, and income do not seem to affect an individual’s state of mind facing the current economic situation, but one can still observe common trends in certain categories of population. .. Therefore, studies show that women are more pessimistic than men. The most obvious case is Belgium, where 61% of men and 75% of women think the situation is bad.
In the United States, there are also political disparities between Republicans and Democrats. Therefore, in the economic situation in 2020, the Democratic Party was more pessimistic (71%) than the Republican Party (44%), but the Democratic Party was more confident (36%) than the Republican Party (27%) and seemed to have changed direction. is.
Finally, individuals who are not economically affected by a pandemic generally tend to be positive about their current economic situation.