A majority of Americans and citizens living in established economies see gloom and doom when asked to assess the financial conditions of their national economies, the Pew Research Center said.
At the same time, citizens in the emerging markets of China, Germany, Brazil and Turkey are generally optimistic. The research group surveyed the attitudes of citizens in 21 countries.
In America, 31% of those surveyed believe the U.S. economy is doing well, leaving an overwhelming percent in the negative camp.
While that figure is up 13 percentage points from 2011, it is still well under the optimism levels reported in China, where 83% of the surveyed citizens are positive on their national economy. Germans rank second with 73% in the optimistic camp, followed by Brazil (65%) and Turkey (57%).
The viewpoints of Americans are somewhat contradictory. Most have a negative view of the economy as a whole, while 60% say they have a better standard of living than their parents at the same age. Sixty-eight percent classify their personal economic situations as good, while only 14% believe it's easy for a young person to get a better job or become wealthier than their parents.
In Europe, where countries are dealing with dire financial issues, only 16% of respondents believe their economies are performing up to par, Pew said. Of that group, only 2% of Greeks are optimistic. And only 6% of the citizens in Italy and Spain are confident in their local economies.