Majority of Global Public Thinks Recovery Will Take Two Years

  • Public opinion poll finds three in four think it will take at least two years for economies to recover and point to infrastructure, new jobs, and increased tourism as lead indicators
  • Responsibility to lead this economic recovery falls to both government and businesses, but civil society plays a crucial role and must not be left behind
  • Current trends towards green finance, ESG metrics and inclusivity practices point towards an inclusive and sustainable recovery
  • Read the full report and learn more about our Sustainable Development Impact Summit

Geneva, Switzerland, 5 August, 2021 – A new public opinion poll found, three in four adults believe it will take at least two more years for their country’s economy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and that businesses and governments are expected to share this responsibility.

The findings are from the latest IPSOS/World Economic Forum market survey of almost 22,000 people across 29 countries.

The global public was asked whether their local economy had already recovered from the pandemic or how long they thought it would take for it to do so.

Sarita Nayyar, Managing Director, World Economic Forum, says: “The world is at a global turning point where leaders must cooperate, innovate and secure a robust recovery. COVID-19 has been a litmus test for stakeholder capitalism. Those that focused on the short-term have been the first to suffer. Corporations have a responsibility to work with governments and civil society to address the big global challenges while protecting public health and growth. ESG reporting metrics, investments in green finance and building more inclusive workplaces are promising first steps forward.”

On average, globally:

Only 7% believe their country’s economy has already recovered; this view is most widely held in China (56%) and in Saudi Arabia (by 25%). 19% believe their economy will have recovered in a year – a sentiment most prevalent in Saudi Arabia (38%), the United States (32%), and South Korea (31%). 35% say it will take their country’s economy two or three years to recover; Japan (52%), Chile (46%), Italy and Malaysia (both 44%), and the Netherlands (42%) are most likely to think so.39% believe it will take their economy more than three years to recover from the pandemic, with those in Russia (66%), South Africa (62%), Argentina (59%), and Romania (58%) most likely to hold this view.

Image: IPSOS/World Economic Forum

Who to trust to lead the economic recovery

On average, there are high expectations for both government and businesses to lead the economy recovery, but civil society or NGOs are at the bottom of the table. Globally, 53% say it is the government’s responsibility and 52% say large/multinational businesses’ responsibility.

David Sangokoya, Head of Civil Society and Social Justice at the World Economic Forum said: “In addition to fostering social cohesion, advocating for human rights and providing community assistance, civil society plays a crucial role in promoting a sustainable and equitable recovery and creating an enabling environment in collaboration with business and government. As the world faces three critical crises in the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and systemic inequalities, the inclusion of civil society in the world’s efforts is necessary to ensure transparency, accountability and impact for communities bearing the brunt of these crises.”

Image: IPSOS/World Economic Forum

Signs of economic recovery

Jobs, new businesses opening and increase tourism are the top three signs of economic recovery, according to the survey. Infrastructure and social changes

Image: IPSOS/World Economic Forum

Sustainable Development Impact Summit 20-23 September

These issues will be addressed at the Forum’s upcoming Sustainable Development Impact Summit. The virtual four-day event is hosted alongside the United Nations General Assembly and brings together global leaders from business, government, and civil society. It will focus on new technologies, policies and partnerships to advance cooperation, accelerate progress, and highlight tangible solutions to our global challenges. Find out more.

WEF Release. More on this here.