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A global survey has revealed a significant decline in optimism about household wealth.

A new global survey has revealed that a mere 40% of people believe their families will be better off in the future. The Edelman Trust Barometer, which has been conducting polls for over 20 years, discovered that economic pessimism is at its highest in some of the world’s top economies such as the United States, Britain, Germany, and Japan. The survey also found that societies have been divided by the impacts of the pandemic and inflation. According to Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman communications group, “This has really shown the mass class divide again. 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.”

Furthermore, the survey found that higher-income households still broadly trust institutions such as government, business, media, and NGOs, but alienation is prevalent among low-income groups. Globally, only 40% of respondents agreed with the statement “my family and I will be better off in five years” compared to 50% a year before. Advanced economies were found to be most downbeat, with the United States (36%), Britain (23%), Germany (15%), and Japan (9%) having the lowest numbers.

On the other hand, fast-growing economies saw much higher scores, albeit lower than last year. Only China bucked the trend with a one percentage point rise to 65% despite the economic disruption caused by its now-relaxed “zero COVID” policies. These anxieties reflect deep uncertainty about the state of the global economy as the Ukraine war continues and central banks hike their lending rates to tame inflation. The World Bank has also recently warned that the global economy could tip into recession this year.

The survey also revealed that while Edelman’s longstanding Trust Index registered an average 63% trust level in key institutions among high-income US respondents, that figure fell to just 40% among low-income groups.

by Paul Britton

Full-time CBG author covering everything from business to wellbeing news, in Cyprus. and abroad.
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