According to the findings from the annual global survey by Ipsos on people’s perspective of the year gone by and predictions for the year ahead, following a very challenging couple of years in 2020 and 2021, many people around the world feel 2022 has been a little better.
Nearly three quarters (73%) of global citizens say it has been a bad year for their country, just 4 percentage points lower than those who had said the same about 2021. In contrast, Singaporeans are feeling more positive about how the year went. While slightly more than half (57%) of Singaporeans say that it was a bad year for Singapore, this is a significant 23 points lower than the sentiment measured a year ago.
The economy in 2023
There is split optimism for the year ahead with 1 in 2 (55%) Singaporeans saying that the global economy will be stronger in 2023. There is a little more optimism for their personal situations with 64% saying that 2023 will be a better year for them than it was in 2022. This is a 15% drop from the sentiment measured a year ago, as inflation has begun to take center stage over the receding pandemic.
Nearly 9 in 10 (87%) Singaporeans believe that prices in the country are likely to increase faster than people’s incomes. 60% of Singaporeans also say that it is likely that major stock markets around the world will crash in 2023. Citizens are also expecting higher interest rates (83%) and unemployment (71%) in 2023.
Even as fears around rising prices loom nearer, Singaporeans trust in the overall economic stability of the country. While about half (46%) of global citizens expect their country to require an emergency bail out from the IMF next year, a lower than average 35% of Singaporeans say so of Singapore.
World security in 2023
World security has been very much on everyone’s minds in 2022 with active conflict zones in several parts of the world and international tensions rising in others. The possible escalation of such conflicts has increased concern that nuclear weapons will be used somewhere in the world.
More than half (56%) of Singaporeans now feel this is a likely scenario rather than a mere possibility, up markedly from the 40% we saw this time last year. The anxiety is particularly high in neighboring country, Indonesia (69%), but considerably lower in China (40%). 39% of Singaporeans expect the war in Ukraine will end in 2023, and another 40% expect it to continue.
The role of technology in potential disruption is also recognized. 48% of Singaporeans say it is likely hackers from a foreign government will cause a global IT shutdown (vs global average of 44%).
The general mood of anxiety has even had knock-on effects on concerns about catastrophic stellar events. Now, 27% of Singaporeans think an asteroid strike on earth is likely in 2023 (up 6% from last) while 22% expect aliens to visit the earth (up 8% from last year).
Environment in 2023
Most people around the world believe we will see more climate change consequences in 2023. 7 in 10 Singaporeans say it is likely there will be more extreme weather events in the country next year. In addition, 60% of Singaporeans say 2023 will likely be the hottest year on record.
There is some hope for a breakthrough in technology that will halt climate change, with 43% of Singaporeans saying that this is likely. Neighboring country, Indonesia is most optimistic about this at 76% saying it is likely, and Japan most pessimistic with just 14% thinking this will be so.
Expectations for major progress in tackling climate change are relatively low: The numbers who expect to see people flying less than they did in 2019 before the Covid 19 pandemic are down from 67% last year to 43% now. This is no doubt driven by a desire to resume foreign travel habits as the rules and restrictions introduced to try to limit the spread of Covid have been eased around the world.
Society in 2023
Six in ten (63%) Singaporeans anticipate no further Covid-19 lockdowns in the country next year as people get back to some form of normality. In China and South Korea, around half of the surveyed people (43% and 44% respectively) think it is likely that this will be the case.
Whereas in Indonesia, the vast majority (82%) are very confident that they will not experience further lockdowns in 2023. It is not yet clear to what degree the changes to working patterns that were enforced by Covid will persist and continue to evolve – 46% of Singaporeans believe that it will become normal for businesses in Singapore to implement a four-day working week during 2023.
At the same time, the proportion thinking that many more people will live their lives in virtual worlds has dropped by 15% from last year to 57%. Globally, around one in three (34% up from 28% last year) say is likely that people in their country will become more tolerant of each other. In Singapore, 52% say this is likely, up 13% from last year.
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