Australians world’s most positive

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Across the world, people in both advanced countries and developing nations have a dreary view of the current economy. But Australians are bucking the trend and are among the world’s most optimistic people when it comes to the both the current state of the economy and its future prospects.

According to a just-released Pew Research global survey about economic attitudes, among advanced industrialized nations surveyed only Germans, Canadians and Australians felt positive about the current state of the economy.

Germans were the most optimistic, with 75% agreeing that “the economy looked good,” while the resource-rich Commonwealth pair were the only two other countries among 14 advanced nations to have majority-positive responses, with 67% in each. By comparison, only 33% of US respondents believed the economy was performing well.

In Australia, 77% of respondents felt their situation was good, below only Canada and Malaysia at 82%. Less than half (49%) of respondents were satisfied with the country’s direction, but this was still higher than most other advanced countries.

Consumers remain reasonably positive about the next 12 months, with 31% feeling the economy is set to improve. Only 36% believe their personal economic situation will improve over the next 12 months, and 48% think it will stay the same.

When it comes to looking at what the Government should first address, 38% of respondents felt employment opportunities were at the top of the list. Seventeen percent of Australian respondents felt the Government should address the gap between rich and poor, but Australia reported the lowest problem of inequality of all advanced countries, with only 33% believing it to be a big issue. Australians also had the lowest percentage of respondents who felt the economic system favours the wealthy, though this was still at 44%.