Fears about economic welfare are growing fastest in advanced countries, the Edelman Trust Barometer shows © Getty Images / jeffbergen
Economic optimism has collapsed globally, with barely two in five people believing their families will be better off in the future, an annual international survey known as the Edelman Trust Barometer shows.
The research, the results of which were issued on Sunday, found that economic pessimism was at its highest in some of the world’s top economies.
Globally, only 40% agreed with the statement “my family and I will be better off in five years” compared to 50% a year before, with advanced economies such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, having the most downbeat outlook.
The study also showed that societies have been divided by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and inflation. According to the survey report, higher-income households still broadly trust institutions such as government, business, media and NGOs, as opposed to a distrust identified among low-income groups.
“This has really shown the mass class divide again,” the consultancy’s chief executive Richard Edelman said. “We saw it in the pandemic because of differential outcomes in terms of health, now we see it in terms of the impact of inflation,” he explained.
Divisions have become so entrenched and society so highly polarized that survey respondents believe their differences can no longer be overcome, said the report. Globally, two-thirds report observing an unprecedented lack of civility and mutual respect in society.
“We are in a period of huge systemic change in a multi-polar world, with divisive forces fanning economic grievance,” said Dave Samson, Global Vice Chairman of Corporate Affairs for Edelman. “Left untended, the consequence will be further polarization, slowing economic growth, deeper discrimination and an inherent inability to solve problems. CEOs, and the companies they lead, need to play a central role in addressing these issues and helping restore economic optimism,” Samson warned.
The study surveyed over 32,000 respondents in 28 countries from November 1 to November 28.
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