Public Opinion: Pessimism about Transatlantic Economic Conditions Is Rampant
European and U.S. views of the economy have soured since the Great Recession. Overwhelming pessimism across the transatlantic community, coupled with doubts about prospects for the next generation and rising frustrations with the free market system, are signs of an abiding fragility. In last year’s Pew Global Attitudes Survey, just 6 percent of Spanish and Italian respondents and 15 percent of British said the economy was doing well. Among Europeans, only Germans (73 percent) thought their national economic situation was good. More importantly, such assessments were down 29 percentage points in Spain and 23 points in Poland since 2008. Pessimism is just as rampant on the other side of the Atlantic. Despite modest economic growth in the United States, just 15 percent said the economy was excellent or good in December. And a more recent Pew poll showed that just 37 percent of Americans think the economy is going to get better in the next year.