Compared to the autumn of 2013, a whole lot more Europeans have faith in the economic future. Belgians and particularly the Dutch people have faith, despite a need for caution.
Optimism grows (almost) everywhere
According to the most recent edition of the semi-annual Eurobarometer, 24 % of the nearly 28,000 European citizens who were polled in March believes that the economic situation will improve in the upcoming year, which is a 3 % increase. Nearly one out of two (47 %) thinks things will stay the same (a +2 % increase), while 25 % (-5 %) fears difficult times are ahead.
Countries that were hit hard by the crisis these past few years, have seen sharp decreases in negativity, like in Cyprus, the Netherlands and Portugal, where "things could only get better". People who live in Scandinavia and the Baltics have seen the biggest increase in pessimistic forecasts.
44 % of the EU citizens (+4 %) believes the crisis' impact on employment has peaked, but nearly half of the citizens believes unemployment should be considered the highest priority in their own respective nations.
Dutch people less negative than Belgians
The Dutch believe there is an end in sight for the crisis: 51 % of the population thinks things will get better this year, while only 11 % fears things will get worse. Everyone else believes things will remain the same.
One in two Belgians believe things will remain the same, but optimists (29 %) outrank pessimists (21 %) in Belgium as well. It is a question whether Belgians are staying true to their conservative nature or whether Belgium has not been hit so hard by the crisis, as EU numbers report.
France is an entirely different matter: only 20 % believes better times are ahead, while 33 % fears worse. The optimists and pessimists in Germany, the European engine, are quite balanced (17 % vs 16 % respectively), with two out of three Germans believing that things will stay the same.