In First Time Since Global Recession Wreaked Havoc, Positive Citizen Consumer Assessment of Country Economic Fortunes Appear

Of 23 countries measured—representing 75% of worlds GDP—17 (74%) show they've begun to turn the corner, but overall assessment still anaemic compared to previous soundings

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

NEW YORK— A new Reuters News poll conducted by Ipsos and released today indicates that of 23 countries measured--representing 75% of the worlds GDP-- 17 (or 74%) of them had citizens who assessed their country's current economic situation as "good". This compares with just eight of the same 23 countries (or 35%) where citizens assessed their country's economic situation as "good" back in April/May, 2009. This is the first sign in global collective public opinion that the economic havoc caused by the world recession in the latter part of 2008 and throughout most of 2009 may have begun turning the corner as citizens see and feel their own country’s economy improving.

But while the apparent “turning of the corner” is evident, there are some other very sobering numbers: of the over 24,000 adults surveyed—1000+ respondents per country—only 36% in total (up 7 points since mid- 2009) indicate they see their local economy as ‘very or somewhat good’ compared with two-thirds (64%) who view it as ‘somewhat or very bad’.

Those countries with the highest levels of improvement in economic assessment are Australia (+45), Germany (+20), Sweden (+19), China (+19), Brazil (+16) and South Korea (+15).

The top six countries where citizens assessed their economy as ‘good’ are India (82%), Australia (81%), China (78%), Brazil (72%), Canada (60%)and Sweden (58%). The bottom six countries are the United States (20%), Great Britain (14%), France (14%) , Spain (10%), Japan (8%) and Hungary (7%).

The following is how citizens assessed the current economic situation in their country:

[(+/-) = Change over last measurement April/May 2009]

Very/Somewhat Good -Very/SomewhatBad

Total (+7) 36% /64%
India (+12) 82% /18%
Australia (+45) 81% /19%
China (+19) 78% /22%
Brazil (+16) 72% /28%
Canada (-5) 60% /40%
Sweden (+19) 58% /42%
Turkey (+1) 51% /49%
Netherlands (+3)48% /52%
Germany (+20)44% /56%
Poland (-4) 42% /58%
Argentina (+10)28% /72%
Belgium (+3)28% /72%
South Korea (+15)28% /72%
Czech Republic (-3)26% /74%
Russia (-11)24% /76%
Italy (+7) 24% /76%
Mexico (-2) 21% /79%
United States (+7)20% /80%
Great Britain (+6)14% /86%
France (+3) 14% /86%
Spain (-1) 10% /90%
Japan (+5) 8% /92%
Hungary (+5)7% /93%

While there is a measurable difference in the topline total or the agglomerate assessment of the individual country economies, there is a higher but paradoxically unchanged total compared to 2009 mid-year sounding when respondents are asked to assess their own personal future. In this regard, the findings indicate that, generally, 44% are confident about the future compared with 56% who are worried about the future—but up from late 2008 when a 42% expressed confidence about the future compared with 58% who were worried.

Those countries where citizens expressed the greatest amount of confidence in the future are India (79%), China (78%), Australia (73%), Canada (66%) and the Netherlands (61%). Those countries where citizens expressed the least amount of confidence in the future are in Japan (14%), France (21%), Czech Republic (25%) and Russia (28%).

Those countries with the greatest increase where citizens expressed confidence about the future include Argentina (+18), China (+17), Australia (+14), Brazil (+12), Germany (+10), Hungary (+9) and Great Britain (+7).

Alternatively, those countries with the greatest fall in confidence include Russia (-39), Czech Republic (-29), Sweden (-15) and France (-12).

The following is how citizens assessed their confidence or worry looking generally into the future:

[(+/-) = Change over last measurement April/May 2009]

Confident /Worried

Total (-) 44% /56%
India (+9) 79% /21%
China (+17) 78% /22%
Australia (+14) 73% /27%
Canada (+3) 66% /34%
Netherlands (-1) 61% /39%
Germany (+10) 54% /46%
Brazil (+12) 54% /46%
Sweden (-15) 52% /48%
Great Britain (+7) 45% /55%
Turkey (-4) 44% /56%
United States (-5) 44% /56%
Mexico (+3) 40% /60%
Argentina (+18) 36% /64%
South Korea (+3) 35% /65%
Belgium (-8) 35% /65%
Italy (+8) 34% /66%
Poland (-8) 33% /67%
Hungary (+9) 30% /70%
Spain (+3) 30% /70%
Russia (-39) 28% /72%
Czech Republic (-29) 25% /75%
France (-12) 21% /79%
Japan (+4) 14% /86%

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between November 4th, 2009 and January 13th, 2010, on behalf of Thompson Reuters News Service. For this survey an international sample of 24,077 adults aged 18+ were interviewed in a total of 23 countries representing 75% of the world's GDP. The countries included Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, and South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Great Britain, the United States and Turkey. Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis via the Ipsos online panel. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 per country of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in that country had been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. G@6A3/5.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs
(416) 324-2002
john.wright@ipsos.com

For all Reuters/Ipsos Polls go to: http://www.ipsos-na.com/news/reuters/

For information about Ipsos and access to all Media and Polling Releases go to: http://www.ipsos.com

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the second largest global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that assess market potential and interpret market trends for over 5,000 worldwide clients to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, build brands, test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and, measure public opinion on issues and reputation. With over 9,100 employees working in wholly owned operations in 64 countries, Ipsos conducts advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting and a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services in over 100 countries. Founded in 1975 by Jean-Marc Lech and Didier Truchot, Ipsos has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2008, Ipsos' revenues totaled €979.3 million. Listed on Eurolist by NYSE - Euronext Paris, Ipsos is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-100 Index and is eligible to the Deferred Settlement System. Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities..

About Thomson Reuters

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In First Time Since Global Recession Wreaked Havoc, Positive Citizen Consumer Assessment of Country Economic Fortunes Appear

Contact

John Wright
Senior Vice President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1.416.324.2002
john.wright@ipsos.com