French most downbeat on economic outlook

By James Blitz in London and Ben Hall in Paris The French are markedly more pessimistic about their prospects for the coming decade than their counterparts in Europe or the US, fearing they will have a progressively lower living standard and get less state help, according to a new opinion poll. A Harris poll for the Financial Times asked people in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the US whether they felt they were better off than 10 years ago, and to assess how they will have fared by 2020. The poll found that, in spite of the US recession, Americans were more optimistic than Europeans about the prospects ahead. A higher percentage of Americans than Europeans also felt their personal standard of living was better today than it was in 2000. Some 44 per cent of French people – a higher percentage than in any other country – said they felt pessimistic about the decade to come. The same number also said their standard of living was worse today than it was in 2000, again a figure higher than in any other nation polled. France also emerged as the gloomiest of the nations surveyed on nearly every other question posed by Harris. Source:

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