February 16, 2010 / 2:35 AM / in 8 years

People start to see brighter future but most still worry: poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) - People are starting to feel more confident about their future following the global financial crisis but the majority of people remain worried, according to a joint international Reuters/Ipsos poll.

A survey involving about 24,000 respondents in 23 countries found that 44 percent of respondents were confident about their personal future, while 56 percent remained worried. In late 2008 42 percent expressed confidence about the future.

However, this optimism was patchy with citizens in India, China, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands expressing the greatest amount of confidence, with between 61 percent to 79 percent of respondents seeing a brighter future.

In Japan only 14 percent of people were confident about the future and this number edged up to 21 percent in France, 25 percent in the Czech Republic and 28 percent in Russia.

John Wright, a senior vice president at Ipsos, said the survey also found that people in 17 of the 23 countries assessed their country’s current economic situation as “good” compared to a survey last April/May when people in only eight of the same 23 countries gave a thumbs up to their country’s economic situation.

“This is the first sign in global collective public opinion that the economic havoc caused by the world recession in the latter part of 2008 and throughout most of 2009 may have begun turning the corner,” Wright said in a statement.

But while an apparent “turning of the corner” was evident, only 36 percent of those questioned said they believed their local economy was “very or somewhat good” while 64 percent viewed it as “somewhat or very bad.”

This compared to last year when 29 percent said their local economy was good and 71 percent described it as bad.

The top six countries where citizens assessed their economy as ‘good’ were India, Australia, China, Brazil, Canada and Sweden.

The bottom six were the United States, Britain, France, Spain, Japan and Hungary.

The following is how citizens assessed their confidence or worry looking generally into the future in percentages, with +/- indicating the change over last measurement in April/May 2009:

Confident Worried

Total (-) 44 56

India (+9) 79 21

China (+17) 78 22

Australia (+14) 73 27

Canada (+3) 66 34

Netherlands (-1) 61 39

Germany (+10) 54 46

Brazil (+12) 54 46

Sweden (-15) 52 48

Britain (+7) 45 55

Turkey (-4) 44 56

United States (-5) 44 56

Mexico (+3) 40 60

Argentina (+18) 36 64

South Korea (+3) 35 65

Belgium (-8) 35 65

Italy (+8) 34 66

Poland (-8) 33 67

Hungary (+9) 30 70

Spain (+3) 30 70

Russia (-39) 28 72

Czech Republic (-29) 25 75

France (-12) 21 79

Japan (+4) 14 86

About 1,000 individuals participated on a country by country basis via an Ipsos (www.ipsos.com) online panel with weighting employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflected that of the adult population according to the most recent country census data.

Other Reuters/Ipsos polls can be found here

Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Sugita Katyal

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