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Indians optimistic about 2009 amid crisis

January 06, 2009 17:25 IST
Last Updated: January 06, 2009 20:07 IST

The economic downturn and the geo-political tensions notwithstanding, citizens of India are looking forward to 2009 and around 42 per cent of people feel that this year will be better than 2008, says a study.

India has been ranked as the seventh most optimistic nation along with Russia. Kosovo topped the list with as many as 60 per cent believing that the coming year would be better than 2008, according to a latest study by global market information group TNS and Gallup International.

The other major optimistic nations include China (53 per cent), Australia (49 per cent), Lebanon (48 per cent), Colombia (48 per cent) and New Zealand (44 per cent).

Despite the present all-pervasive pessimism, the Asia Pacific region is still more upbeat than most other regions and similar to last years results is home to nearly half of the world's top ten most optimistic countries when it comes to outlook for 2009, the study said.

About 35 per cent of people globally and 37 per cent in Asia Pacific feel pessimistic about the year ahead, while 42 per cent of people in India predict that the coming year would be better than 2008, the survey added that included more than 45,700 people in 46 countries around the world.

"Indians have a relatively optimistic view of the year ahead and expect economic growth albeit at a lower rate. The recent fiscal packages given by the government are likely to ensure this," TNS India executive director Chhavi Bhargava said.

Bhargava, however, added that "a sense of caution and lower probability of getting a new job easily will hopefully result in fewer people hopping jobs. However, there is a considerable concern that the year 2009 will be more troubled than 2008." 

Overall, however, the survey highlighted a gloomier outlook for 2009 than seen in previous years with 49 per cent of people forecasting economic difficulties and 67 per cent projecting an increase in unemployment around the Asia Pacific region. Meanwhile, only 12 per cent feel positively about economic prosperity and an improvement in unemployment levels.

In India, 30 per cent of respondents believe that 2009 will see an overall rise in the number of unemployed. A mixed feeling can be seen in the prediction about the country's fortune this year with 31 per cent of India's citizens thinking that 2009 would bring economic difficulty compared with 32 per cent who foresee prosperity.

Respondents in the survey were also asked about prospects for international peace and whether 2009 would be a peaceful or a troubled year for the country with much international dispute.

Around 31 per cent around the region see trouble ahead rather than peace (11 per cent), however, the prevailing opinion is that the coming 12 months would be no different from the last 12 (39 per cent).

"In India, again a mixed feeling can be seen as 23 per cent of citizens are anticipating a trouble free 2009, equal to the 23 per cent that foresee international discord," the survey said.

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