Household wealth optimism collapses, global survey shows

By Mark John (Reuters) - Barely two in five people believe their families will be better off in the future, according to a regular global survey that also identified

growing levels of distrust in institutions among low-income households. The Edelman Trust Barometer, which for over two decades has polled the attitudes of thousands of

people, found that economic pessimism was at its highest in some of the world's top economies such as the United States, Britain, Germany and Japan. It further confirmed how

societies have been divided by the impacts of the pandemic and inflation. Higher-income households still broadly trust institutions such as government, business, media and NGOs.

But alienation is rife among low-income groups. "This has really shown the mass class divide again," said Richard Edelman, whose Edelman communications group published the

survey of over 32,000 respondents in 28 countries interviewed from Nov. 1 to Nov. 28 of last year. "We saw it in the pandemic because of differential outcomes in terms of

health, now we see it in terms of the impact of inflation," he added. The World Health Organisation and others have noted the higher toll of the pandemic on the poor, while those

on low incomes suffer most from costlier basic items. Globally, only 40% agreed with the statement "my family and I will be better off in five years" compared to 50% a year

before, with advanced economies most downbeat: the United States (36%), Britain (23%), Germany (15%) and Japan (9%).