Half of people around globe optimistic about economy: poll

NEW YORK Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:07am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - With less than two weeks left in 2012, half of people around the world think the global economy will improve in 2013 and many plan to ring in the New Year with family and friends and improve their finances and health, a new survey shows.

The Ipsos poll released on Tuesday revealed that Indians, Brazilians and Indonesians were the most optimistic that the economy will improve next year, with more than three quarters giving it a thumbs up.

But less than a third of Belgians, Spaniards, French, Poles and Italians were confident the global economy will get better.

"There is a great amount of optimism for the future," said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Public Affairs, adding that the number had jumped 8 percent since last year.

And while many still had doubts about the world economy, 80 percent of the 18,500 people questioned in 24 countries for the survey believed 2013 would be a better year for them personally.

"People are excited, without a doubt," Gottfried added.

Along with the increased optimism, many people say they will be in the mood to celebrate. About 40 percent will be ushering in the New Year with family and friends, particularly in Sweden, Brazil, South Africa, China and Mexico, where half or more people are having a celebration.

The Japanese are least likely to commemorate the arrival of 2013. Only 13 percent there are planning a party, along with just about a third of residents in Great Britain, Australia, the United States and Russia.

Indonesians, Japanese and South Koreans will be having sober celebrations with 10 percent or fewer people planning to have an alcoholic drink on New Year's Eve, compared to 40 percent of Swedes and about 30 percent of Germans, Poles and Belgians.

"Most people are going to ring in the New Year in some way, 9 percent say they are going to sleep through it," said Gottfried. "Everyone else has something to say about the New Year. Folks are going to have a gathering with close friends and family, or they are going to be staying home."

At least one in 10 people plan to celebrate with a drink of Champagne, she added.

Although many people don't keep them, resolutions are a big part of the New Year and 80 percent of people globally plan to do something specific for themselves or others.

The top resolution, by far with 55 percent, is to improve finances, followed by spending more time with family, which is a distant second at 16 percent.

But 14 percent will also resolve to improve their health and 12 percent will make a resolution to travel to other countries.

About three quarters of Brazilians, Mexicans, Argentines and South Africa plan to improve their financial situation in 2013.

Ipsos interviewed people in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.

(Editing by Christine Kearney; Editing by M.D. Golan)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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