What global risks have worsened since the onset of COVID-19?
What countries think about their economic prospects
Each year, the Edelman Trust Barometer report assesses the level of trust people place in different systems of power.
The report is also a useful tool for gauging the general mood in countries around the world – and when it comes to what people in developed economies think about the near future, there’s an answer. very clear: pessimistic. In fact, respondents’ optimism about the economic outlook has plummeted in the majority of countries surveyed.
Here’s a comprehensive look at how many people surveyed in 28 countries think they and their families will get better in the next five years. Or, more simply, what percentage of people are optimistic about their economic situation?
|Country||% who are optimistic||Historic low?||Change from 2021 (pp)|
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||30%||+2|
|🇰🇷 South Korea||39%||+6|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||66%||-2|
|🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||73%||0|
|🇳🇬 Nigeria||87%||n / A|
Interestingly, nine countries (those with checkmarks above) are polling at historically low levels for economic optimism in the history of the survey.
Who owns the half-empty glass?
Japanese respondents were the most pessimistic, with only 15% seeing a positive short-term economic outlook. Only 18% of French respondents are economically optimistic.
While most developed economies were slightly more optimistic than Japan and France, all are still well below the global average.
As tensions between China and the United States continue to escalate in 2022, there is one thing that can unite the citizens of both countries: the general feeling that the economic outlook is deteriorating. As the United States heads into midterm elections and the 20th Chinese National Party Congress takes place, the leaders of both countries will surely have the economy on their minds.
Who owns the half-full glass?
Of course, the atmosphere is not catastrophic everywhere. The United Arab Emirates saw its economic outlook increase by 6 percentage points (pp).
Indonesia saw an 11pp increase, and in large developing economies like Brazil and India, the overall level of optimism is still quite high.
In some ways, it’s no surprise that people in developing economies are more optimistic about their economic prospects. The standard of living is generally rising in many of these countries, and more opportunities are opening up as the economy grows. Even in the most pessimistic African country studied, South Africa, the majority of people still see an improvement in the situation in the near future. In Kenya and Nigeria, an overwhelming majority is optimistic.
A major prediction that experts have agreed on for the coming year is that economic outcomes will begin to diverge between countries with different levels of vaccine access.
While this does not yet appear to have affected attitudes towards economic optimism, it remains to be seen how this will play out as the year progresses.