A Pew Research poll shows only 27 percent of people think their national economy is doing well. Of 21 countries polled, only China, Brazil, Germany and Turkey have a majority of people reporting positive attitudes about their national economies.
Overall, public sentiment about the economy has fallen since 2008. Only China reports consistent positive numbers, and has for the past decade.
Less than a third of Americans, 31 percent, feel positively about the economy, up 13 points from 2011, but still down 19 points from 2007.
While most Americans are downcast about the national economy, “Americans are twice as likely to say their family finances are in good shape as they are to say that the national economic situation is good,” Pew reports.
A recent Business Insider article suggests that the world may be entering a new paradigm of declining economic growth, where assumptions about future GDP may no longer be so contingent on past performance.
Over time, BI argues, GDP in the U.S. and Europe will begin contracting.
The effects of such a shift would have an immense impact on financial planning.
This possible shift is mirrored by a gloomy outlook on generational economic growth. Only 14 percent of U.S. respondents feel it is easier for a young person to get a job and be more well off than their parents. In Europe that figure was only 9 percent, compared to emerging countries, where 35 percent feel they can become wealthier than their parents.
“Again, the lone exception is China, where 57% say it will be easy for their children to become wealthier or to get a better job,” said Pew.
The pessimistic outlook on national economies is met with falling support for capitalism. In 11 of the 21 countries surveyed, only half or less believe free markets make people better off. This number is down in 9 of 16 nations with comparable data from 2007.
Countries where this sentiment is “particularly acute” are Italy, Spain and Poland.
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