Coronavirus Crisis Has Led To ‘Bleak’ Perception Of The Economy, Study Says

As the coronavirus crisis wears on, new research from the Pew Research Center shows that public perception of the economy has “turned bleak” in large parts of the world.

A median of 68% of people considered their country’s current economic situation to be bad, the researchers found, while 31% said conditions were good. 

Italy had the largest portion of people who rated the economic situation negatively, with 90% describing the situation as “bad.” 

In eight of the 14 countries surveyed, including the U.K., France, and South Korea, the majority of people expected their countries’ economies to get worse.

In the United States, Germany, and Canada, however, people were more likely to say that the economy would improve over the next year than to say it would get worse. 

The researchers noted that in nearly every country they surveyed, the perception of how bad the economy is tied to how the country handled the coronavirus crisis: people who viewed their country’s response negatively were more likely to have a negative view of the economic situation. 

Crucial quote

“In addition to the broadly negative assessments of current economic conditions, few in the countries surveyed are hopeful things will get better in the next year,” researchers Shannon Schumacher and Mara Mordecai wrote. 

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Key background

Countries all around the world are now faced with the dire economic consequences of the pandemic. Australia has entered its first recession in almost 30 years. The United Kingdom has entered its first recession in more than a decade; CNN reports that the U.K.’s economy shrunk by more than 20% between April and June.

France just unveiled a $118 billion stimulus  plan to combat its own economic woes. Japan’s economy saw its biggest downturn on record, the BBC reported, after its GDP fell nearly 8% between April and June. In the United States, trillions in stimulus spending is on track to push debt to GDP levels above 100% next year. 

Further reading

Views of the economy have turned sharply negative in many countries amid COVID-19 (Pew Research Center)

Thanks To Stimulus Spending, U.S. Debt Expected To Exceed The Size Of The Entire Economy Next Year (Forbes)

Economy Shrank At Historic 33% Annual Rate In Second Quarter—But That’s Not The Whole Story

Sarah Hansen

Sarah Hansen

I’m a breaking news reporter for Forbes focusing on economic policy and capital markets. I completed my master’s degree in business and economic reporting at New York University. Before becoming a journalist, I worked as a paralegal specializing in corporate compliance.

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