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Less than half of American say U.S. is global leader

Staff Writer |
After seeing that the divisive political climate did little to disrupt the economy in 2017, Americans are rolling with the punches this year, even if it means re-thinking the meaning of American pride.

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New research from Mintel reveals that less than half (42%) of U.S. adults think that America is a global leader, while just 20% say the country has a good reputation globally.

The negative perception of the country's reputation may be due in part to how U.S consumers think those in other countries perceive them. Most think that those from other countries would describe Americans as being wasteful (62%) and self-centered (58%).

When it comes to self perception, Americans appear to be just as critical: only one third of U.S. consumers think that, compared to the rest of the world, Americans are more tolerant of other lifestyles (35%), more generous (34%), more hard working (30%) or more accepting of other cultures (29%).

Most Americans seem to accept that the U.S. has its flaws, with less than half agreeing that America is a good place to raise children (45%) or a good place to grow old (41%).

But the outlook is not all gloom as the majority of Americans agree that today's contentious climate won't get the best of them: three quarters (75%) believe they are in control of their future, a resilient seven in 10 (71%) believe that America always bounces back and three in five (60%) think the country will always be an international powerhouse. And despite political differences, 62% feel comfortable talking about controversial issues with others.

Consumers' financial situations are steady as 43% of Americans today say they consider their financial situation to be "healthy."

When it comes to getting "extra" money off their hands, for some Americans, paying off debt (30%) takes a back seat to discretionary spending on experiential categories.

In fact, the top ways Americans say they spend their extra dollars are on activities such as dining out (45%), entertainment (e.g. going out, music, books) (42%) and travel/vacation (40%). However, although financial situations are stable for most Americans, 12% say they are saving every cent and 6% say they never have any extra money.


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