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.

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.