Brussels, 20 December 2013
Autumn 2013 Eurobarometer: Growing Belief in Economic Recovery
According to the latest Eurobarometer survey results published today, Europeans are becoming slightly more optimistic about the economic situation in Europe. Over half of Europeans (51%) say that they are optimistic about the EU's future (up from 49% in the Spring 2013 Eurobarometer, see Annex). Overall, 43% (+1 percentage point compared to the spring 2013 survey) of citizens believe that the EU is heading in the right direction to emerge from the crisis and face new global challenges (See Annex). Optimism is also on the rise as the number of Europeans saying that the impact of the crisis on employment has reached its peak is up by 4 percentage points (from 36% to 40%).
Challenges remain: Unemployment (49%, -3), the economic situation in general (33%, stable), inflation (20%, stable) and government debt (15%, -1) are the four main concerns Europeans say they face at national level while, at personal level, inflation is clearly the leading issue (40%, -1). Europeans regard the economic situation in general (45%, -3), unemployment (36%, -2) and the state of Member States' public finances (26%, -4) as the main issues facing the EU at this moment.
Focus on Ireland: As Ireland exits its bailout programme, survey results show notable improvements in Irish citizens' perceptions of the economic situation in their country. The number of Irish people saying that they expect the national economic situation to improve in the next year has risen by 12 percentage points, and the number of Irish citizens assessing the state of their national economy as good has increased by 11 percentage points.
Finally, support for the economic and monetary union with a single currency, the euro, has remained almost stable, with more than half of Europeans in favour (52%, +1 since Spring 2013). In 21 Member States, an absolute majority of respondents are in favour of the euro, with the highest levels recorded in Luxembourg (79%), Slovenia (78%), Slovakia (78%), Estonia (76%), and Finland (75%).
The Autumn 2013 Eurobarometer is the latest edition of a bi-annual opinion poll organised by the European Commission. It was conducted through face-to-face interviews between 2 and 17 November 2013. A total of 32,409 people were interviewed across the 28 EU Member States and in the 5 candidate countries (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Iceland, Montenegro and Serbia).
The First Results report published today outlines Europeans’ perceptions of the current economic situation and preoccupations for the future, as well as their opinions on the crisis and the Europe 2020 strategy.
The First Results report is available at:
1. More than half of Europeans are optimistic about the EU's future
2. The EU is going in the right direction to exit the crisis
3. Unemployment remains citizens' top concern at national level
4. Support for the euro