The latest annual survey from global communications firm Edelman found people’s hopes for their financial futures suffered a “massive collapse” worldwide over the past year, with most developed nations seeing economic optimism hit all-time lows.
The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer released Sunday found that citizens in half the countries surveyed had year-over-year double-digit 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 last year, even through the pandemic,” Edelman CEO Richard Edelman told FOX Business in an interview, calling the drop “significant.”
Edelman has conducted its Trust Barometer providing key insights for employers since 2000. In this year’s poll, economic optimism in 24 of the 28 countries surveyed fell to record lows, including the U.S. (36%), U.K. (23%), Germany (15%) and Japan (9%).
Not a single developed country has economic optimism above 35%.
Economic anxieties were cited among respondents’ top fears, with 89% saying they were worried about job loss, and 74% citing inflation. Sixty-seven percent expressed concern about food shortages, and 66% said they were worried about energy shortages.
Edelman called the situation “dire,” saying he believes new concerns have been added over the last 12 months on top of standard worries people have expressed in past years such as losing their jobs to machines or the impact of climate change.
“But now we have a cost of living crisis,” he told FOX Business. “We have [the threat of] nuclear war. We have things moving from societal issues to personal issues, so people have really lost confidence.”