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Unhappy New Year: France tops misery poll

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-01-04

A new Gallup poll of national moods finds that the French top the charts for pessimism when it comes to their economic outlook for 2011. People in developing economies, by contrast, tend to view the coming year more positively.

Now that the fireworks have been put out and the New Year’s bubbly downed, Europeans are ringing in 2011 in a far more downbeat mood, with the French the most pessimistic of them all, according to a recently published international poll on national moods. 

A BVA-Gallup poll of 53 countries found the French the world champions of scepticism, with 61% of respondents saying 2011 will be “a year of economic difficulty.”  Runners up included Britons at 52%, Spaniards (48%), and Italians (41%).

The poll found that 67% of French respondents believed unemployment would rise over the next 12 months. Employment was also a major concern in the UK, with 74% of Britons believing unemployment would increase. Pakistan came a close second at 72%.

The overall negative sentiment in Europe comes in stark contrast to the emerging economies in Asia, South America and Africa, where citizens are generally optimistic about the New Year.

In Brazil, India and China, 49% of respondents said they believed 2011 would be economically prosperous, with only 14% predicting hardship. 

Vietnam topped the optimism rating with 70% Vietnamese expressing confidence in the economic outlook for 2011.

Confidence also reigns in Nigeria, where 80% of respondents expect their financial situation to improve this year. Even in war-torn countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, respondents appeared to look forward to a brighter future with only 14% of Afghans and 12% of Iraqis fearing a deterioration of their situation.

The poll was conducted from October 11 to December 13, 2010, in 53 countries. More than 63,000 people were interviewed by telephone, face-to-face or online.

Date created : 2011-01-03

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