Businesses trusted more than government and media, survey finds

In an increasingly divided world, people are placing their trust in businesses far more than other institutions like governments, nonprofits, and the media, according to a survey from public relations firm Edelman, the Associated Press reported.

Released late Sunday to coincide with the World Economic Forum’s gathering of business elites and government leaders this week in Davos, Switzerland, the online survey conducted in 28 countries shows that fewer people believe their family will be better off in five years.

Those who believe they’ll be better off dropped to 40% from 50% last year and hit all-time lows in 24 nations. That is because 89% fear losing their job, 74% worry about inflation, 76% are concerned about climate change, and 72% worry about nuclear war.

The Edelman Trust Barometer also says 62% of respondents see business as both competent and ethical, compared with 59% for nongovernmental agencies, 51% for governments, and 50% for the media. That was attributed to how companies treated workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and return to offices as well as many businesses vowing to exit Russia after it invaded Ukraine.

People still said they distrusted CEOs as well as government leaders and journalists, while trusting their own corporate executives, co-workers, and neighbors. Scientists were trusted the most — by 76% of respondents.