The global picture
Despite a tense relationship between the US and North Korea, people are divided over the likelihood of the two countries starting a war against each other. Four in ten (42%) think that it’s likely, compared with 40% who think it’s unlikely. People in South Korea, though, are more likely to think it won’t happen – 66% say it’s unlikely.
Over half think (59%) that China will become the world’s biggest economy – with Japan (25%) and South Korea (37%) as most sceptical, followed by India (43%), Germany and the US (both 40%).
The countries with the highest levels of personal optimism for 2018 are Columbia (93% say 2018 will be better for them than 2017), Peru (93%), Chile (88%), China (88%), Mexico (87%) and India (87%). Optimism is lowest in Italy (60%), France (54%) and Japan (just 44%).
- Most countries think that the average global temperature will increase (71%). This prediction is particularly high in Serbia (87%), and ranked lowest in Russia and the US (both 56%).
- Countries are divided on strength of the global economy – with emerging markets tending to be more positive. China (86%), India (83%) and Peru (81%) are most likely to think the global economy will be stronger in 2018 than 2017; Italy (43%), Japan (39%) and France (36%) are least confident.
- Only 28% across the globe think that stock markets around the world will crash this year. This is highest in Malaysia (51%), Saudi Arabia and India (39%).
- Angela Merkel remaining Germany’s Chancellor seen as more likely than President Trump being impeached. Half (48%) on average think Angela Merkel will remain Germany’s Chancellor (including 57% of Germans), compared to the 35% who think Trump will be impeached this year. It is a similar picture in the US itself – 33% of Americans think it likely the President will be impeached, but 49% believe it’s unlikely.
- Globally, half (50%) think that Russia’s influence on world affairs will increase – with Serbia (80%) and Turkey (74%) most convinced (and 66% in Russia).
- There are noticeable variations in concern about a terrorist attack. Half or more of people in Britain (65%), Turkey (60%), France (53%), Germany (51%) and the US (51%) think an attack in their country is likely, but in most of the countries surveyed only one in four or less think an attack is likely.
- Close to 1 in 10 (12%) on average across the countries think it is likely that aliens will visit this year.
- Half (49%) on average think it likely that a driverless car will make a government-approved debut in a developed country.