Global Trends in Reactions to Uncertainty and Inequality

Uncertainty makes future planning difficult for people and businesses

Global Trends in Reactions to Uncertainty and Inequality

Uncertainty makes future planning difficult for people and businesses

Uncertainty has become the only certainty. People in many markets are facing economic instability as currencies shift in value, inflation rises, supply chains continue to be disrupted, and governments change. Financial inequality, already a driver of change, worsened in the pandemic. In every corner of the globe, struggles to achieve parity based on gender, race, ethnicity and religion dominated headlines. Where can people turn to find confidence, and how can they hedge their bets in an uncertain climate?

The wealth gap had increased before the pandemic in many countries and has widened as inflation and interest rates hit record levels in 2022. But now the economy seems to be in better shape in many markets. Meanwhile, there is ongoing uncertainty for people living from month to month, and the prospect of a recession is causing additional anxiety.

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Further inequalities abound, from the continuing mistreatment of ethnic and religious minorities around the globe, to gender inequality and systemic racism. Geopolitical conflicts such as Russia's war on Ukraine, and the resulting energy crisis, have added to the uncertainty, as have worsening climate-related disasters. And despite collective efforts to eradicate Covid-19, it continues to spread throughout the world. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, interventionist governments have returned. Countries worldwide are looking to build and defend local champions in strategic industries such as batteries, solar panels and semiconductors.

Citizens are grappling with these inequalities and uncertainties, both short-term and longer-term, in myriad ways. It's hard to make big decisions when there is little clarity about what tomorrow might bring, and people crave certainty and safety in such an environment.

Perceptions of a society changing too fast are often linked to concerns over values conflict, immigration and weak leadership

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Global Trends in Reactions to Uncertainty and Inequality

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Our report tells a story from the topline data. For technical details, please see the full methodology. For a deeper dive into demographic differences, regional analysis and sector- or market-specific insights please contact us for a custom analysis of this incredibly rich data source.

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