Will inflation pop or will hot air slowly release from economies around the world?
No one really knows.
Some economists predict prices will continue to soar for quite a while yet. Others worry about stagflation (meaning there’s high inflation and high unemployment at the same time). Then there’s the doomsayers saying a severe recession is nigh.
As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on and the invasion of Ukraine intensifies, the economic uncertainty caused by these historic events seems likely to continue as summer turns to fall.
Here's what recent Ipsos’ Global Advisor polling has uncovered about the impact high prices has had on people’s lives and their perspective on where things might be headed.
- Unprecedented times
The pandemic threw a monkey wrench into the global economy. Back in early 2020, fear about COVID-19 loomed large. Then came the invasion of Ukraine. By August 2022 concern about the pandemic plummeted and worry about inflation soared to the top spot, with poverty & social inequality and unemployment rounding out the top three concerns.
- Bright spots amid the dark clouds
While consumer confidence has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels in many countries around the world, there’s exceptions to the rule. Four of the 23 countries in Ipsos’ Global Consumer Confidence Index have National Consumer Confidence Index scores that are significantly higher than before the pandemic.
- Darkness descends
Despite some confidence in a handful of places, gloom and doom is in the air. Just over 2 in 3 (67%) of people, on average, across 28 countries feel the economy in their country is bad. Just three countries (Saudi Arabia, Indonesia* and India*) had a strong majority say the economy was good in their country in August.
- Sweating higher prices
For many, there’s good reason to feel the economy is bad. Almost 1 in 3 people, on average, across 28 countries said they were finding it quite/very difficult to manage financially while only 12% said they were living comfortable in late May and early June.
- Sticker shock
Food prices are taking a bite out of people’s budgets and many feel there’s no clear end in sight. The majority of those surveyed across 28 countries, on average, predicted in late spring that the cost of their food shopping, followed by the cost of utilities, other household shopping, motoring fuel costs and the overall cost of going out socializing, would increase a lot/little from June-December 2022.
*The samples in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey are more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. The survey results for these markets should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of these populations.