This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

August 22, 2018

Increasing Global Anxiety

With so much uncertainty in the world, it is no surprise that Ipsos, a global research consultancy with offices in 89 countries would conduct a new worldwide poll regarding what is stressing people around the world. In their monthly "What Worries the World" study, Ipsos found the majority of people polled believe their countries are "on the wrong track" (56 percent).

Increasing healthcare costs create stress
Since most of our readers live in the United States, we will start there. The number one concern for US citizens is healthcare. According to CNBC, since 2009, employee out-of-pocket costs for a family of four increased a staggering 69 percent in the forms of higher co-pays and higher deductibles, not to mention an incredible 105 percent growth in employee premium contributions. During the same period, employer premiums rose 62 percent. Between 2008 and 2015, the percentage of family income spent on healthcare went from 8 to 12 percent! This increase means people have less money today as a direct result of the rising costs of healthcare.

Different concerns abroad
For global citizens outside of the US in 28 countries, the picture is different. The Ipsos poll found four major concerns for people around the world: Unemployment, Poverty/Social Inequality, Crime/Violence and Financial/Political Corruption.

Unemployment tops the global list
Unemployment is the leading fear for people outside of the US. The most worried nations about this issue are Italy (66 percent) and South Korea (64 percent), followed by Spain (58 percent). Russia with 41 percent has seen the largest increase in concern with a rise of 11 percentage points from the previous month (30 percent).

The second most worrisome was Poverty/Social Inequality
The countries most most concerned about Poverty/Social Inequality are Russia (64 percent), Hungary (57 percent), and Serbia (54 percent). As well as being the country most apprehensive about this issue, Russia is the country with the biggest increase in concern month over month, with a rise of 7 percentage points (57 percent). Interestingly, the least worried country about this issue is Turkey (22 percent).

Issues of Crime/Violence and Corruption are also worrying citizens
Worries about Crime/Violence are highest within South and Central America with Peruvians at 67 percent, Mexicans at 63 percent, and Chileans at 59 percent. Worries about Financial/Political Corruption are highest in Peru (62 percent) and Malaysia (60 percent), followed by South Africa (55 percent) and Spain (54 percent).

What the current numbers mean for the future
What futurists do is look at trends. With a possible change in US congressional leadership after November, we believe that in 2019, there will be a slowdown in the exponential rise of consumer healthcare costs. In South and Central America, as well as some of the Asian countries, we think there will be increases in concern about crime, violence, and corruption unless and until leaders emerge who are willing to put their countries before their self-interest. Looking at the historical perspective, we are not expecting this more positive development any time soon. We also anticipate a global economic hit (especially in the US) from the repercussions of Trump's tariff war. Bottom line, we can all expect more uncertainty and increased stress.

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