Along with increased concerns about safety and security, Australians have downgraded their view of Australia’s economic prospects. In 2022, six in ten Australians (62%) say they are ‘very optimistic’ or ‘optimistic’ about Australia’s economic performance in the world over the next five years. This represents a 17-point fall from 2021, but remains ten points ahead of the record low in economic optimism experienced by Australians in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 at 52%.
Levels of optimism about the economy in the Australian public have often mirrored Australian perceptions of the global economy. In 2022, the majority of Australians (55%) say ‘a severe downturn in the global economy’ poses a critical threat to Australia’s interests, which has risen five points since 2021, but remains 16 points below the record high of 71% in 2020.
Australians have generally rejected the global trend towards protectionist and anti-globalisation sentiments experienced in other countries over the past decade. This continues in 2022, despite the ongoing pandemic and increases in the cost of living in Australia. Seven in ten Australians (73%) continue to say globalisation is mostly good for Australia, a marginal three-point increase from 2020. This result remains six points below 2009, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, where 79% of Australians said globalisation was mostly good.
Only a small gap exists between urban and regional residents on this question. Three-quarters of Australians who live in urban areas (75%) say globalisation is mostly good for Australia, whereas this view is held by 69% of Australians who live in regional or rural areas.
Support for free trade continues to be on an upward trajectory in Australia. Eight in ten Australians (80%) say free trade is good for their standard of living, a five-point increase from 2019. More than seven in ten Australians say free trade is good for the Australian economy (78%, a seven-point increase from 2019) and for Australian companies (71%, a six-point increase from 2019). Two-thirds of Australians (66%) also say that free trade is good for ‘creating jobs in Australia’, a five-point increase since 2019.
43 questions match this theme
Would you support or oppose the following federal government policies?
In the leadup to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, which one of the following two statements most closely represents your own view of the approach the Australian government should take in international climate change negotiations?
The world is currently going through a severe health and economic crisis. When the world recovers from this crisis do you think each of the following will be more powerful, less powerful or will they be just as powerful as they were before the crisis?