One third of adults around the world are worried about what the year will bring, according to the Voice of the People survey released by Gallup International. 35 per cent of respondents in 46 countries expect 2009 to be worse than 2008.
The proportion of respondents who expect the next year to be “the same” has remained stable in the past three annual surveys. In 2006 and 2007, roughly two-in-five respondents expected the next year to be better. The proportion has dropped to 27 per cent this time.
At least 48 per cent of respondents in Kosovo, China, Australia, Lebanon and Colombia expect a better year, while at least 60 per cent of those in Hong Kong, Iceland, Singapore, Ireland and Greece believe conditions will deteriorate.
Angus Reid Global Monitor
Since 2007, defaults on so-called subprime mortgages—credit given to high-risk borrowers—in the United States have caused volatility in domestic and global financial markets and raised concerns that the U.S. economy could fall into a recession. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The crisis has affected the global financial and credit systems.
On Dec. 31, outgoing U.S. treasury secretary Hank Paulson discussed the crisis, saying, “We’re dealing with something that is really historic and we haven’t had a playbook. The reason it has been difficult is first of all, these excesses have been building up for many, many years. Secondly, we had a hopelessly outdated global architecture and regulatory authorities in the U.S.”