KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — Only 35 per cent of Malaysians polled said that they and their family would be economically better off in five years' time, said a yearly study conducted by global communications firm Edelman late last year.
The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer released during the World Economic Forum last week pointed out that Malaysians' trust in the economy dropped by 20 percentage points since the 2022 edition, and it was currently at an all-time low for the nation.
"This year’s report finds that economic optimism has collapsed globally (50 per cent to 40 per cent), with half of the countries surveyed showing a year-over-year double-digit decline in the belief that their families will be better off in five years’ time.
"Further, not one developed nation has over 36 per cent of its people confident that their family will be better off in five years, and 24 of the 28 countries surveyed dropped to all-time lows in optimism including the US (36 per cent), the UK (23 per cent), Germany (15 per cent) and Japan (9 per cent)," Edelman said in an accompanying press release.
Malaysia registered the second biggest decline in trust for a country's economy, with only Colombia registering a larger drop of 22 percentage points. However, a much higher percentage of Colombians (61 per cent) were optimistic about their country's economy.
In terms of trust in the economy, Malaysia was ranked 13th among the 28 countries studied this year for the category — placed between Ireland (31 per cent) and Singapore (36 per cent). Malaysia was also the most pessimistic among the developing countries polled.
The top three nations with the most trust from locals in their economy were Kenya (80 per cent), Indonesia (73 per cent) and India (73 per cent).
Meanwhile, the lowest three were Japan (9 per cent), France (12 per cent) and Germany (15 per cent).
The fieldwork for 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer was conducted between November 1 and 28 last year with an average of 1,150 respondents for the online survey from each of the 28 countries studied.
According to Edelman, the online survey is conducted every year for the past 23 years. The survey for Malaysia was conducted in the Malay language.
Malaysia had a change in government last year, with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim being sworn in on November 24, 2022 to lead a coalition government of Pakatan Harapan, Barisan Nasional, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah.
During the New Year celebration, Anwar reiterated his pledge to make economic revival and improving living standards the top priority, and had last week launched the Malaysia Madani blueprint for his administration to realign the country's direction.