Optimism high around globe for better 2014, poll says

Mon Jan 6, 2014 6:44pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Most people around the world are optimistic that 2014 will be better than last year and that the global economy will be stronger, according to a poll.

Seventy-six percent of people in 23 countries questioned by the global research company Ipsos said they had high hopes for the new year, slightly more than in 2013. About half said last year was not great for them and their families.

"People are excited for the New Year. I think they still have a bad taste left in their mouths from 2013, with the slim majority saying it was a bad year for them and their families and people a bit worried about the economy," Keren Gottfried, a senior research manager for Ipsos said in an interview on Monday.

But the overall optimism, she added, "shows people want to look at the world with the glass half-full."

The poll, which was released on Friday, determined that 53 percent of people around the world believe the global economy will be more robust in 2014, with the sentiment strongest in India, China and Indonesia and weakest in Sweden, France and Italy.

Only 33 percent of Italians had confidence in the global economy improving, slightly less than the Swedes and the French.

"Last year was definitely not a great year for a lot of people. We know economically speaking the economy has not risen globally and certainly not within the U.S.," Gottfried explained.

Optimism for a better 2014 was highest in Indonesia, France, Brazil, India and Argentina, where more than 85 percent of people questioned in the online survey said they looked forward to improvement this year. Hope was lowest in Japan and Italy.

Spaniards, Argentineans, Hungarians and Mexicans were the most likely to say last year was disappointing, while the numbers were the lowest in Australia, Indonesia and Sweden, where 42 percent or fewer people had a lousy 2013.   Continued...

A man watches the sunrise on New Year's Day at Gaviota Azul beach in Cancun January 1, 2014. REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Garcia