Inflation Remains Highest Worry

The world economy is expected to see moderate growth in 2023, projected at 3.0%, but is anticipated to slow down slightly to 2.7% in 2024. This economic growth is largely driven by Asia, despite a weaker recovery in China than expected. However, global growth in 2024 is likely to be lower, primarily due to monetary policy becoming more visible and China's subdued domestic demand, said OECD in its latest report.

Inflation is something that all countries have come through in the last many days. How much does it worry the people? A new study shows that worry about inflation has risen for the 11th consecutive month and it is the number one global concern.

On an average globally, almost one in four says inflation is a top issue facing their country (37 per cent), up three points from last month, the report from IPSOS said.

In the monthly “What Worries the World” survey, IPSOS explores what the public thinks are the most important social and political issues across 27 countries. The IPSOS report states that “Worry” has risen a further three points this month and now almost one in four say that it is one of the top issues facing their country (37%). It said that this Inflation worry was the number one concern in ten countries. Belgium, France, Germany, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, the US and Turkey are some of the countries where the inflation worry is at top.

The report also mentioned that concern has fallen (marginally) in only five countries since last month: the Netherlands (+1), Brazil (-2), Colombia (-3), Chile (-3) and Argentina (-4).


With respect to the concern related to COVID 19 pandemic, the report states that it has fallen for the 11th consecutive month, down a further four points this time, to 12%. This cause now occupied the tenth place, between concern about education (15%) and immigration control (11%), the report said. It was for the first time that Covid 19 concern was introduced into the survey. The report said that the pandemic was not the number one concern in any of the 27 countries surveyed. This marks a steep decline in concern from when it was the top concern globally four months ago in February 2022, and the number one concern in 11 countries in January 2022.

It said that Covid 19 concern was highest in Japan, where one in three people still believe it is a top issue facing their country (33%), but fewer than one in ten are concerned in 13 of the countries surveyed. The largest month-on-month decreases in worry about Covid-19 are in Spain (-15), Malaysia (-9) and Canada (9). Meanwhile, concern has crept back up in the US and Saudi Arabia (both +3).


An average 16 per cent of the people in the countries surveyed say climate change is a top issue facing their country, up one point from last month. This ranges from 33% of people in Australia to just 3% in Argentina. After Australia, worry about climate change is highest in Germany (28%), Canada (24%). Belgium (23%), India (23%) and the Netherlands (23%). Concern has increased most since May 2022 in Spain (+6), South Korea and Italy (both +5). Meanwhile, the largest decreases in concern are seen in the US and Great Britain (both -3).


Across the 27 countries surveyed, the IPSOS finds that one in three people say that the current economic situation in their country is good (33%), while a majority say that it is bad (66%). Saudi Arabia remains the country where the highest proportion of people describe the current economic situation as good (97%). India sees the largest increase in the proportion saying that the current economic situation is good, up six points from last month to 80%. This marks India’s highest score since March 2019 (also 80%). Only four other countries see increases from last month in their “good economic situation” score: Saudi Arabia (+5), Spain (+3), Italy (+3) and Turkey (+3). The largest decrease is in Malaysia which has fallen by 11 points from last month. The Netherlands, South Africa, and Australia also see a five-point decrease in the proportion describing the current economic situation as good. Argentina continues to be at the bottom of the table, with 7% of people rating the country’s economy as good.


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