The economy sucks almost everywhere, according to most of the world.
A new survey of 22,000 people across the globe captured this pervasive pessimism about the economy and personal financial security. Only one in four reported feeling optimistic about their respective country’s economy, while just a third were confident about their own household finances, according to the McKinsey & Company study.
More than a quarter said they were living paycheck to paycheck and were finding it harder to make ends meet. Over half worried about losing their job in the next year.
The survey comes as the world struggles with a collapse in oil prices, volatile equity markets, a slowdown in China and the stimulus-dependent European Union.
The most pessimistic people lived in developed Asia (Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan). Only 8 percent are confident in their country’s economy and 11 percent reported being encouraged about their finances.
Eastern (Poland and Russia) and Western (France, Germany, Italy and the U.K.) Europeans were also downbeat. Only 13 percent in each region were optimistic about their countries’ economies and just a fifth were happy with their own finances.
Those most worried about their jobs lived in Mexico and South America, where seven in 10 residents there reported the concern. Not far behind were people in South Africa, the Middle East (Kuwait, Qatar, U.A.E., Saudi Arabia and Turkey) and Eastern Europe where about two-thirds felt unsettled about job security.
More Chinese were optimistic about their economy than Canadians and Americans, 25 percent versus 19 percent. But more than a third of North American residents felt good about their personal finances compared with just over a quarter of Chinese.
The most optimistic people in the world, however, resided in India, Indonesia and Thailand. Forty-six percent of residents there felt good about their country’s economy and more than half were encouraged by their personal finances.
But that doesn’t mean they have no financial anxieties. Three in people ten in India, Indonesia and Thailand were living paycheck to paycheck, while a third found it difficult to make ends meet. Six in 10 were fearful of losing their job in the next year.