New Zealanders are pessimistic about the prospects of economic recovery this year compared to other nationalities and think social inequalities will increase, according to a new global survey.

An employee wearing protective clothing does testings for the coronavirus at a laboratory as the spread of the disease continues, in Arkhangelsk, Russia.

The majority of Kiwis surveyed didn’t believe there would be widespread availability of Covid vaccines this year. Photo: AFP

Market research giant Ipsos questioned 23,700 people in 31 countries on its Global Advisor online platform between 23 October and 6 November, last year and released its finding this morning.

A 1000-person sample in New Zealand showed Kiwis were gloomy not only about the chances of a post-Covid bounce in economic fortunes, but were also sceptical about the wide availability of vaccines, and thought income inequality would become worse.

Research Director for IPSOS, Jonathan Dodd, told Morning ReportNew Zealanders generally felt better off than those overseas, but conversely had a less rosy view of the future economically, partly due to a reliance on overseas visitors.

They were more ambivalent with regards to the prospects of a better 2021.

“It’s quite interesting to look at, while we know in New Zealand we’re a lot better off than in other countries, our reliance on overseas visitors means we expect the bounce back is going to be a little bit slower for New Zealand,” he said.

“I think New Zealanders, while we didn’t get as big a hit as in other countries we expect the bounce back is going to be a little bit slower. There’s still a lack of optimism in New Zealand compared to other countries.”

Eighty-six percent of New Zealanders agreed that 2020 was a bad year for their country, compared with a 90 percent global average and 61 percent reported that 2020 was a bad year of themselves and their family. The global average was 70 percent.

Just 25 percent of New Zealanders anticipated the NZ economy would fully recover in 2021, compared to the 32 percent global average.

The pessimism is more pronounced in the upper age brackets. Approximately 18 percent of those aged 50 and over thought it likely that the economy would recover fully.

Just under half of New Zealanders (48 percent) believed that a Covid-19 vaccine would become widely available in NZ in 2021, compared to a global average of 60 percent.

New Zealanders also expected income disparity to increase.

Exactly half of New Zealanders surveyed thought it likely that income inequality in NZ would increase. However, 66 percent of those questioned globally believed the same.

Just 32 percent of New Zealanders believed gender pay equity was likely in 2021, compared to a 40 percent global average.

Reflecting New Zealander’s Covid-free status and relative lack of social restrictions so far, only 31 percent of New Zealanders thought mask-wearing would be prevalent in public places a year from now, compared to 61 percent globally.