Source: Pew Research Center
Germans are feeling good about their country ahead of a national election on Sept. 24 that will determine whether Chancellor Angela Merkel leads her nation for a fourth consecutive term. Unlike many of their fellow European Union members, Germans are satisfied with the state of the economy and are broadly positive toward the political establishment that has led the nation through the post-World War II era.
An overwhelming 86% of Germans believe their economy is doing well, up from 75% last year, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in spring. Views of the economy have been consistently positive since 2011, reflecting Germany’s quick recovery from the global financial crisis. By comparison, just 2% of Greeks, 15% of Italians, 21% of French and 28% of Spanish say their economies are doing well.
Germany boasts one of Europe’s lowest unemployment rates – just 3.7% – while neighbors like Italy struggle to pull unemployment into the single digits. And growth of Germany’s gross domestic product accelerated in 2017, building on several years of positive economic growth.
On the political front, Germany’s mainstream parties enjoy widespread support. A 58% majority have a favorable opinion of Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and a 68% majority like the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD). This stands in stark contrast to France, Greece, Italy, Spain and the UK, where all political parties tend to be unpopular.