A new 44 country survey by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project found that “a global median of 60 percent (of respondents) see their country’s economy performing poorly.”
Although the results were sour overall, analysts found something sweet about citizens’ attitudes in the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Uganda, Israel and Indonesia, the countries whose economic mood brightened the most from 2013 to 2014.
While there’s no magic formula to improve attitudes about the economy, here’s a look at what makes these five countries unique:
1. The United Kingdom (+28 points from 2013 to 2014)
U.K. citizens are feeling much better about the country’s economy than they did last year. “Britons’ views on the national economy brightened more than any of the other countries Pew surveyed, with 43 percent now saying the economy is good, compared with just 15 percent last year,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
Pew noted that the British aren’t just feeling good about the present economy; they also expect growth in the future. The study showed that 45 percent of U.K. citizens expect the country’s economy to pick up over the next year.
2. Pakistan (+20 points)
Although only 37 percent of citizens describe the state of economy as “good,” Pakistan stands out among other Middle Eastern and North African countries — and not just in terms of attitude. The country is also reporting high levels of economic growth.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the country’s real GDP grew by 3.6 percent in 2013 and is expected to grow another 3.1 percent this year.
3. Uganda (+18 points)
Uganda, considered a developing economy, was a star within a highly positive economic group, improving to 62 percent positive attitudes from 44 percent last year.
Pew reported that in countries with developing economies, 51 percent of respondents described the current economic situation as good. That was notably higher than in advanced and emerging economies, where economic satisfaction was 34 percent and 39 percent, respectively.
4. Israel (+16 points)
In Israel, 59 percent of citizens described the economy as good this spring, compared to 43 percent last year, the study reported.
However, Pew noted that the survey was conducted from March 17 to June 5, 2014. Attitudes may have changed after this summer’s conflict in Gaza.
“While businesses close to Gaza have been hurt worst by Israel’s battle with Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups, the fighting has also deterred tourists and dented consumer spending nationwide,” Bloomberg reported in August.
5. Indonesia (+16 points)
Pew reported that 55 percent of Indonesians are confident about their country’s economic future. Such positivity is supported by the International Monetary Fund’s projection that the country’s real GDP will grow by 5.4 percent in 2014.
The optimism can be linked to improvement in the country’s public debt. Pew noted that concern over that aspect of the Indonesia’s economy decreased by 13 percentage points from 2013 to 2014.
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