For us in the UK there is a worry about jobs, everyone's complaining about the spending cuts (except the tube (subway) drivers who are threatening strike action so they can get paid more and work less) and the occupy movement are in full swing. On the flip side people are still spending money and going out, it will be interesting to see what the Xmas spending numbers are like for this year.
I think a lot of the doom is created by the media who have a huge responsibility which is being overlooked. They will sensationalise any negative number that comes out in order to sell their newspapers. This can cause people to worry and panic which means they are less inclined to buy stuff, businesses are more inclined to put off growth plans/projects in favour of stockpiling their warchests and the economic gloom becomes a self fulfilling prophecy thanks to media companies blowing stuff out of proportion to boost their profit margins.
That being said, I would not like to be a small/start-up business right now and I'm going to be unemployed in 2 weeks. I'm not too worried though because I've worked hard to make myself a useful person to have around and I'll take a low paying crappy gig if I have to if things get really tough. But I'm placing myself in the '1%' even if I'm not quite there financially yet
Oh yeah - and I'm short EURO and Gold which is helping
Like I said though I'm not average Joe European though. I'd be very upset if I was Greek or Italian or Spanish.
The UK is going through the austerity now which of course is unpleasant for many and they are letting their feelings known. The southern European nations are having a much worse austerity forced on them which is a massive change to what they are used to. It's not their fault that their tax receipts/government borrowing went toward who knows what (Bunga bunga parties
anyone? How about there being more Porsches registered in Greece than tax payers who earn over 50k Euros a year
The US will need to go though some austerity as well, but I think there are elections coming up so I don't think anything upopular will be brought in until that's all over and done with. Nice to see politicians getting their priorities in order.
Our lot waited until straight after they'd won the election before imposing massively unpopular cuts that are being criticised as 'to deep and too fast' - but of course they want to see the benefit in time for the next election so they can say "Look we fixed it, I know it was hard at the tims but isn't it great now and do you really want to let the other lot in and start spending us back to oblivion?" Gotta love politicians