Euro and grand coalition in Germans’ good graces

Nuremberg, 24. March 2015

Findings of the 2015 “Global Trust Report” from the GfK Verein

Nuremberg, March 24, 2015 – Confidence in the euro is growing among Germans. This is a finding of the “Global Trust Report” 2015 conducted by the GfK Verein in 26 countries. In Germany, trust in the Merkel cabinet grew in comparison with 2013. Conversely, Germany’s armed forces (Bundeswehr) suffered a decline in trust – which is in marked contrast to other countries. On average, the military occupies top spot in a global comparison.

A total of 57 percent of Germans have confidence in the euro. This is 19 percentage points higher than the 2013 survey. With this result, the euro takes fifth place in the rankings of most trustworthy institutions. Prof. Dr. Raimund Wildner, Managing Director of the GfK Verein: “Reasons for this increase may be the moderate rate of inflation and, above all, the comparatively stable energy costs seen at the moment.” The majority of other institutions surveyed by the GfK Verein on an annual basis have consolidated their place in the rankings. The police can still boast the highest trust rating of 80 percent, followed by the courts with 65 percent. This is an excellent value for the police by international comparison. Nigerians and Argentines were particularly untrusting of their police forces, with just 13 percent and 21 percent respectively expressing trust in the police.

Trust in German armed forces at a record low

However, in a global comparison of the institutions, the military took top spot with 79 percent. In 10 of the 26 countries surveyed, the armed forces were seen as the most trustworthy institution, including in Japan, Turkey the UK and the USA.  The picture is a little different in Germany: Germany’s armed forces (Bundeswehr) lost favor among Germans following ongoing negative headlines regarding their operational capabilities, falling further to a rating of 55 percent.

Merkel cabinet enjoys upswing

Confidence in Germany’s Grand Coalition under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel developed positively: 40 percent of respondents expressed trust in the government. This represents a rise of six percentage points in comparison with 2013, albeit still 13 percentage points lower than the international average. However, when compared with the corresponding value in other European countries, the German government has achieved a dream rating. In Spain, for example, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government received the backing of just 8 percent of Spaniards. Spain therefore brings up the rear with regard to trust in the government. At 74 percent, India’s government enjoyed the greatest level of trust.

 Germans take critical view of food industry

In addition to institutions, the GfK Verein surveyed industries. Trade received the highest rating for level of trust in Germany, at 85 percent. This was followed by airlines and consumer electronics manufacturers, both at 74 percent. The most significant rise was seen in energy and water providers, in which a total of 61 percent of respondents expressed trust. This represents an increase of ten percentage points in comparison with 2013. At the bottom end of the list with less than 50 percent approval are the telecommunications industry, the financial sector and food manufacturers. “The tendency toward slightly negative reporting together with the failure to keep health promises is eroding trust,” says Prof. Wildner. In contrast to the growing trust in institutions and industries, trust in fellow human beings remained stable at 69 percent. Germany leads the way in this regard with 80 percent. Kenya and Nigeria are found at the opposite end of the spectrum. This value is above all dependent on the social climate, in particular the level of corruption: The more widespread corruption is, the lower the level of trust in the respective country. 

The study
The GfK Global Trust Report has been published since 2011 with the focus of the study alternating between investigating trust in professions or trust in institutions and industries from one year to the next. The Global Trust Report 2015 is based on approximately 29,000 consumer interviews conducted by the GfK Verein in 26 countries in the fourth quarter of 2014. The GfK Verein investigated trust in 12 institutions, 11 industries and in other people in general using the following scale: “trust completely”, “mostly trust”, “don’t really trust” and “don’t trust at all”.

The GfK Verein
The GfK Verein was established in 1934 as a non-profit organization for the promotion of market research. Its membership consists of approximately 600 companies and individuals. The purpose of the Verein is to develop innovative research methods in close cooperation with academic institutions, to promote the training and further education of market researchers, to observe the structures and developments in society, the economy and politics that play a key role in private consumption, and to research their effects on consumers. Survey results are made available to the membership free of charge. The GfK Verein is a shareholder in GfK SE.
Further information: www.gfk-verein.org


Responsible under press legislation:
GfK Verein, Press Office
Sandra Lades
Nordwestring 101
90419 Nuremberg
Tel. +49 911 395-3606