Poll: Israelis More Optimistic About Economy Than Other Western Countries

But rising prices, a lack of job opportunities and gaps between the rich and poor remain concerns, new Pew Research Center poll says.

Ronit Domke
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An Israeli supermarket. She's probably optimistic enough to buy. Credit: Ofer Vaknin

Israelis are generally bullish on their country’s economy, something that can’t be said for many nations in both the West and developing world, according to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center.

The survey, conducted in April and May, analyzes the opinions of 48,643 respondents in 44 countries.

Some 59% of Israelis said the economy was in good shape, up from 43% in 2013. But opinions were mixed when it came to the state of the nation in general – 50% said Israel’s general situation wasn’t good, compared with 49% who said the country was doing fine.

Israelis are also relatively optimistic when it comes to their economic future. Only 20% believe the economy will worsen over the next 12 months, while 33% believe it will improve and 46% believe things will remain unchanged.

The problem worrying Israelis most is the high cost of living. Some 58% of Israeli respondents said increasing prices were a serious problem. About 57% said a lack of job opportunities was a serious problem; the same percentage felt this way about gaps between the rich and poor. Some 33% cited Israel’s public debt.

In comparison, some 60% of respondents around the world said their country’s economy was in bad shape. Residents of developed nations were slightly more pessimistic, with 64% saying their countries were in a bad economic state, compared with 59% in developing nations.

Among the countries surveyed, the Chinese were most likely to be satisfied with their country’s economy, with 89% saying it was in good shape, followed by 87% in Vietnam and 85% in Germany.

On the other hand, some 97% of Greeks said their economy was in bad shape, followed by 96% of Italians and 93% of Spaniards and Ukrainians. Some 58% of Americans said their economy was in bad shape.