While the deep crisis has seriously shaken European and American hopes for the recovery, every fifth Russian seems quite upbeat about the country’s economic future in the months to come.
This is according to the recent survey carried out by an international research agency, Synovate, which polled 22,000 people from 22 countries.
Prospects on labor market
As the study suggests, about 21 per cent of Russians believe that the situation in the country’s labor situation has improved, 36 per cent say that everything is the same, and another 23 per cent insist that it has gotten worse.
Despite such a significant divergence of opinions, Russian figures are still far better than those in Europe and in the US, where almost every second citizen says that the situation is getting worse.
According to the study, among the gravest economic pessimists are Serbians (65 per cent believe that there are no prospects for labor market recovery), Italians (58 per cent), the Spanish (56 per cent), the British (47 per cent), and Americans (42 per cent).
Joining Russians in their economic optimism are Sweden, where 40 per cent of the population believes in forthcoming progress in the job market, Brazil (40 per cent), Hong Kong (37 per cent), Germany (31 per cent), and Norway (22 per cent).
Among those who do not foresee any job changes – for better or for worse – are Norwegians (64 per cent), Japanese (59 per cent), Canadians (55 per cent), Belgians (49 per cent), Chileans and Columbians (47 per cent).
Overall economic progress
Russians have also left Europe behind in terms of trust in a better economic future. 22 per cent of those Russians polled are sure that in the next half a year the economic situation in the country may change for the better.
The same views have been demonstrated by only 10 per cent of the French, 16 per cent of Italians, and 21 per cent of Americans.
At the same time, 37 per cent of Italians, 35 per cent of the French, 13 per cent of Americans and Canadians believe that the situation will get worse, whereas only 11 per cent of Russians see the future in such dark colors.
Russian optimism, however, is not based on unmotivated guesses or sheer positive attitude.
State statistics confirms people’s assumptions: unemployment in Russia currently amounts to 6.6 per cent, which is much better than in most European and American countries with average unemployment rates of about 10 per cent.
In Spain, unemployment even climbs to an astounding 20.8 per cent, in Latvia to 19.4 per cent, and in Estonia to 18.6 per cent. The exceptions are the Netherlands (4.4 per cent) and Austria (4.5 per cent).
Still, despite better unemployment figures, Russians did not see any significant growth of salaries, unlike Europeans, and on the whole there is little chance that the country’s economy will go up. It would rather stay at the same level, Igor Polyakov, a leading specialist from the Macroeconomic Analysis Center, was quoted as saying by the Gazeta.ru on-line newspaper.
Furthermore, the unemployment rates in the regions are far worse than in Central Russia. According to the recent World Bank’s report, in more than 60 per cent of the country’s regions unemployment is significantly higher than in the same period in 2008.
The World Bank believes that the chance of recovery might come from small businesses: according to special research, small regions with well-developed SMEs and a better investment climate are climbing out of the crisis much faster.