Economic Outlook in Three Categorizations

Posted on Oct 24, 2016



It appears clearly that after economic crisis after 2007 global downturn takes heavy toll in almost every corner of the world. Publics around the world are decidedly unhappy about their nations’ economies. Most are displeased with current economic conditions and concerned about rising economic inequality; few are optimistic about the coming year. However, at the same time, most global publics say their personal finances are in better shape than their national economies, according to a new 39-nation survey.


Economy Categorization


To categorize the 39 countries surveyed into three categories – advanced economies, emerging markets and developing economies – we started with the World Bank classification of countries by income.

Next, we used the absolute size of the economy as well as the relative wealth per capita to determine whether the emerging markets and developing economies were classified correctly.

Finally, we cross-referenced our coding of the countries against expert classifications, such as the International Monetary Fund.


Survey Methods


Results for the survey are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Survey results are based on national samples. For results based on the full sample in a given country, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus the margin of error. In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.




With the survey in mind. I want to ask four questions regarding the statistics.

  1. Publics’ confidence level around global for their own nations’ economy
  2. Optimism towards national economy within short future.
  3. Personal Economic Conditions
  4. Social-economic mobility for next generalization.



 National and Economic Conditions


Across the globe, few are happy with the direction of their country – less than half in 34 of the 39 countries surveyed say things are going well. Satisfaction is particularly low in advanced and developing economies, while publics in emerging markets tend to be somewhat more content.



Among the advanced economies, only in Germany (57%) and Canada (55%) do more than half of those surveyed say their country is moving in the right direction. In most countries, a third or fewer are satisfied with their nation’s path.

Similarly, roughly four-in-ten or fewer in most of the developing economies surveyed say things are going well in their countries.

Overall, country satisfaction is somewhat higher in the emerging markets – at least three-in-ten in most countries say their nation is on the right track. Nonetheless, even among this group, few publics give positive reviews of how things are going in their country.


Pessimistic over National Economy


In addition to publics’ relatively grim assessment of current conditions, many across the globe are skeptical that things will improve over the next 12 months. Fewer than half in 28 of the 39 countries surveyed expect the economy will get better in the next year.


Optimism is particularly low in the advanced economies. In every country surveyed in this group, four-in-ten or fewer say the economy will get better in the next year, with the exception of Americans (44%), who are only slightly more optimistic. Europeans continue to stand out as particularly despairing over their economy.

Overall, publics in both the developing economies and emerging markets tend to be more optimistic.


Personal Economic Conditions


While assessments of national economic conditions are quite negative in many parts of the world, people are generally more positive about their personal finances. At least half in 23 of the 39 countries surveyed say their personal economic situation is good. Overall, people in economically advanced nations and emerging markets are more likely than those from developing countries to describe their personal situations positively.



Among wealthier nations, Canadians, Germans and Australians stand out as especially satisfied with their personal finances. All three also tend to have more positive views about the state of their national economies.

In nine of the 11 emerging nations polled, more than half say their situation is good. Evaluations are especially positive in Malaysia, Brazil and China. While personal assessments are generally less positive in developing nations, there are nonetheless several countries where solid majorities rate their personal economic circumstances favorably, including the Philippines, Bolivia, Senegal and Pakistan.


Faith in Economic Mobility


Differences over generational economic mobility divide publics in rich economies from those in both societies on the rise and in developing economies. Nearly two-thirds (median of 64%) of those surveyed in advanced economies think that children will be worse off when they grow up than their parents. Meanwhile, 58% of publics in emerging markets believe kids will be better off, as do 45% of those in developing economies.


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