‘Optimism high around globe for better 2014’

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IOL economy arrows Filomena Scalise

New York - 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 US,” 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.

The poll showed personal New Year's resolutions were popular in most countries, particularly Indonesia, Argentina, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa where 90 percent or more people made them, compared with 56 percent in Hungary and 38 percent in Sweden.

Gottfried views the numbers as an indication that people are making resolutions because they want to make things better and are starting the year with excitement.

Ipsos questioned a total of 18,153 adults aged 18-64 years old in the United States and Canada and 16-64 years old in Mexico, Australia and other countries in Europe and Asia from December 4-18.

In countries where 1,000 people were questioned, the credibility interval is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The interval is plus or minus 5.0 percentage points where 500 people were polled. - Reuters



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