Economic optimism has “collapsed” globally, surveys show

Global communications firm Edelman’s most recent annual survey found that people’s hopes for their financial futures suffered a “massive collapse” worldwide over the past year, with most developed countries seeing economic optimism hit an all-time low.

The Edelman Trust Barometer 2023, published Sunday, found that citizens in half of the countries surveyed had double-digit year-on-year declines in the belief that their families would be better off in five years.

“The biggest story is the loss of economic optimism over the past year, even during the pandemic,” Edelman CEO Richard Edelman told FOX Business in an interview, calling the decline “significant.”

Hong Kong residents

On Thursday, December 29, 2022, members of the public sit on benches at a playground in Hong Kong, China. (Photographer: Lam Yik/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

NEARLY HALF OF THE EUROPEAN UNION’S POPULATION REPORT THAT THEIR STANDARDS OF LIVING HAVE FALLEN, SURVEY SHOWS

Edelman has been running its Trust Barometer since 2000, which provides employers with important insights. In this year’s poll, economic optimism fell to record lows in 24 of the 28 countries surveyed, including the US (36%), UK (23%), Germany (15%) and Japan (9%).

G7 flags

Flags of (left to right) Germany, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Britain, the US and the European Union are displayed before a G7 meeting of foreign ministers at city hall in northwestern Germany on 3 November 2022. (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

No developed country has an economic optimism of more than 35%.

IMF CHIEF EXPECTS TO HOLD GLOBAL GROWTH FORECAST FOR 2023

Economic fears were cited as one of the top fears of respondents, with 89% saying they were concerned about job losses and 74% citing inflation. Sixty-seven percent expressed concern about food shortages and 66% said they were concerned about energy shortages.

Richard Edelman

Edelman CEO Richard Edelman attends the 2017 Cannes Lions Festival on June 20, 2017 in Cannes, France. ((Photo by Francois G. Durand/Getty Images)/Getty Images)

Edelman called the situation “serious” and said he believes new concerns have been added over the past 12 months on top of the standard concerns people have expressed in recent years, such as losing their jobs to machines or the impact of climate change.

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“But now we have a cost of living crisis,” he told FOX Business. “We have [the threat of] nuclear war. We have things shifting from social issues to personal issues, so people have really lost confidence.”

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