Emerging nations more upbeat on 2011 than G7: survey

Image caption,
People in the UK were more negative about the future than the global average

Power and prosperity are shifting to the east and to emerging economic nations, a new global poll says.

The survey of economic prospects for 2011 suggests the biggest number of optimists live in countries like China, Brazil and India.

The survey, conducted by leading pollsters associated with Gallup International, suggests the most downhearted country is the UK.

The survey questioned 64,000 people in 53 countries.

It measures levels of optimism about personal well-being and the state of the economy in the coming 12 months.

Globally, opinion is evenly divided about whether 2011 will be a year of prosperity, with 30% saying Yes and 28% No, while 42% believe it will be unchanged.

UK gloom

BBC World Affairs Correspondent Adam Mynott says there are marked differences between the Bric countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - and the rich G7 of the US, Canada, Germany, France, UK, Italy and Japan.

The survey team has drawn up a Global Barometer of Hope and Despair. People in 19 of the countries are generally optimistic about their well-being next year and 34 countries are pessimistic. Our correspondent says it is striking to note that most wealthy countries are firmly in the gloomy sector.

The UK was particularly downbeat in four key questions.

  • Will 2011 be a year of prosperity? UK - 8% Yes; World average 30%
  • Will unemployment rise? UK 37% Yes; World average 17%
  • Will you find a job quickly if you become unemployed? UK 17% Yes; World average 31%
  • Will 2011 be better than 2010? UK 23% Yes; World average 42%

Gallup says its findings suggest: "While wealth is still concentrated in Europe and North America, there is a shift in power and prosperity from the West of the 20th Century to the East".

The economies of the Bric countries - with the exception of Russia - tend to enjoy rapid growth rates, with gross domestic product expansion of 10% not unusual in China.

In contrast, the developed economies have largely struggled back into positive figures as the credit crisis of 2008 has receded.

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