Data Dive: Optimism takes a hit amid ‘permacrisis’

In five infographics, we look at the impact inflation, a pandemic and war are having on the psyche of people around the globe.

The author(s)

  • Melissa Dunne Public Affairs
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It feels like we’re all up against the ropes (yet again).

Lately, people from Australia to Turkey have been dodging and weaving hit after hit, but the blows just keep on coming.

First, there was the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, sparking widespread economic uncertainty. Then, as things started opening back up in many places inflation took off. And just as it seemed the world was finally turning a corner in early 2022 the invasion of Ukraine drove the world further into chaos. Now, the International Monetary Fund expects “one third of the world economy to be in recession” in 2023.

Looking back at Ipsos’ annual Global Predictions reports, polling via our Global Advisor online platform finds as a new year dawns people are feeling pretty beat up amid what Collins Dictionary recently dubbed a “permacrisis.”

  1. Adieu to 2022
    Unsurprisingly, 2020 (the year a global pandemic was first declared and the world screeched to a halt amid lockdowns) was deemed a bad year for their country by 90%, on average globally. By 2021, only 77% felt the year was bad for their country and that further dipped to 73% in 2022. While that’s a vast improvement from Year 1 of the coronavirus crisis, the percentage of people who thought their country had a bad year remains above pre-pandemic levels.Ipsos | Data dive | covid-19 | inflation | prediction 2023


  2. Breaking point
    During the first two years of the pandemic optimism about the year ahead was actually slightly higher than it had been in 2018 and 2019. But we can only bend so much before we break. As the world looks towards the third anniversary of the pandemic on March 11, 2023, and the first anniversary of the Ukraine war on Feb. 24, 2023, it’s really not a shock that fewer people, on average globally, think this year will be than better than the last.Ipsos | Data dive | covid-19 | inflation | prediction 2023


  3. The nuclear option
    Ipsos’ Global Advisor Predictions 2023 polling finds there’s a marked increase in concern about the potential for nuclear weapons to be unleashed somewhere in the world as the brutal war in Ukraine drags on. Yet, amid the clear fear about things catastrophically escalating, two in five (40% on average globally) are hopeful the conflict in Eastern Europe will end this year.Ipsos | Data dive | covid-19 | inflation | prediction 2023


  4. Under pressure
    Meanwhile, the crushing cost of, well, pretty much everything has most people less hopeful the cost-of-living crisis will end soon. The vast majority (75%) of people around the world expect prices to continue to rise faster than people’s income in 2023. Plus, the majority also expect inflation (75%) and interest rates (74%) to tick even higher this year.Ipsos | Data dive | covid-19 | inflation | prediction 2023


  5. What goes up must come down
    Central banks around the world have been trying to bring prices down to Earth for many months now without causing a hard landing. Despite those efforts, many people seem to agree with the IMF and other experts that stopping inflation might start a recession in several countries. The percentage of people who expect the stock market to crash soared to 50%, on average across 36 countries, up from 35% a year earlier. And just over two in three (68% on average globally) think unemployment will be higher in 2023, while almost half (46%) think things could get so dire their country will need to be bailed out with emergency funding from the IMF.Ipsos | Data dive | covid-19 | inflation | prediction 2023

The author(s)

  • Melissa Dunne Public Affairs