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quarterly issue 2

Infographic: Edelman Trust Index

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 21 Jul 2020

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Overall levels of trust in governments, business, the media and non-governmental organisations rose six points to an all-time high between January and May 2020, according to the Edelman Trust Index.

Trust in governments around the world rose sharply in the first half of the year as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, according to the latest Edelman Trust Index released in May, which monitors attitudes in 11 countries. Indeed, government became more trusted than business, NGOs or the media.

It found that trust in governments leapt to 65% globally, compared with 54% in January – five years ago it was just 47%. While trust has grown over the past decade, there have been recent dips, in 2017 and 2018, according to Edelman.

Government received the strongest mandate to lead in all areas of the response to the pandemic, including providing economic relief and support (86%), containing the pandemic (73%) and informing the public (72%).

Business has fared reasonably well, with a four-point rise in trust to 62% since the pandemic began, but people are worried about companies’ responses to COVID-19. Only 38% believe business is doing well or very well at putting people before profits, and just 43% believe that companies are sufficiently protecting employees from the virus.

However, trust in CEOs is not so high. Fewer than one in three respondents (29%) believe CEOs are doing an outstanding job responding to the pandemic, compared with scientists (53%) and government leaders (45%).