The overwhelming majority of Pakistani population is not satisfied with the economic performance of the PTI government. They are not satisfied the way economy is being run. They are worried about their future. The economy is creating enough jobs to bring down the unemployment rate. They are worried that the direction of the economy is not right. They are worried about high inflation-rising unemployment and cost of living.
The economic crisis has hit them hard. They find it hard to find jobs and to meet the needs with their meager incomes. They are worried about rising poverty and worsening living conditions. They are worried about the security of their jobs and shrinking incomes.
The survey conducted in December 2019 by Global Consumer Confidence Index (GCCI) also known as National Index reflected these sentiments. The results of this survey are not surprising at all for those who know the ground realities of everyday life of lower income people in Pakistan. The survey only expressed the feelings and sentiments of people in numbers. The market research and consulting firm IPSOS announced the results of its second survey.
The people were questioned about their confidence in the economy, their opinion about the current situation compared to a year earlier, investment decisions and job prospects. The results are based on a score ranging from 0-100 and the index inching towards 100 means better sentiment.
According to the findings of this survey-the rising inflation- price hike- unemployment and increasing poverty are the most worrying issues for the respondents as all depicted poor economic management of the country has left pushed millions into the poverty.
The results showed that people’s trust in the economy had further weakened; they were less comfortable about making investments and only 21% were of the opinion that the country was heading in the right direction.
According to this survey- job insecurity is top concern and worry for the Pakistanis as nearly 83% of Pakistanis are concerned about their job security while 31% of respondents have themselves or people known to them have lost their jobs due to prevailing economic conditions.
Survey results showed that people’s confidence in the economy was on the decline as the country’s score on the National Index stood at only 32.8 – one point lower than the August 2019 findings. India’s score stood at 61.1, which also dropped from 62.9.
The economic stablisation strategy and policies of the PTI government have resulted in low economic growth and higher inflation. The people belonging to the lowest income groups were affected the most and political and economic uncertainties had shattered their confidence.
According to the survey-nearly 91% of Pakistanis were less comfortable about buying a car or a home as compared to a year ago. Similarly-90% of Pakistani respondents said they were not comfortable about making household purchases.
On the question of job security, only 17% Pakistanis said their jobs were secure while 31% of respondents said they or people known to them had lost their jobs as a result of economic conditions.
The GCCI index is composed of four sub-indices – Current Conditions Index, Expectations Index, Investment Index and Jobs Index. The National Confidence Index was the lowest in Pakistan among the 28 nations surveyed.
Pakistan’s score on the Current Index, which showed comparison between the current economic situation and the condition a year ago, slipped further to a new low of 19.2, down from the August level of 19.5.
On the Expectations Index, the score dipped slightly to 43.6, suggesting weakening hopes for any improvement in the situation over the next six months. People are not willing to make personal investment decisions in the next six months due to an overall low trust in the economy, according to the poll.
On the Investment Index, the score dropped further to 19.1, suggesting that the respondents would not invest in the near future. The hopes for jobs are fast fading away with the score slipping to 49.7, from the August level of 52.2.
For 30% of respondents, unemployment was the most worrying issue while another 29% said increase in inflation was the most worrying issue for them. Burden of additional taxes was the third most worrying issue, followed by increase in poverty, lack of health facilities and increase in terrorism.
The PTI government considers the corruption as the most important issue faced by the Pakistanis. The government is trying to convince the people with an anti-corruption narrative and slogans who are looking for jobs-education-health and better economic opportunities. There is wide gap between the expectations of the people and the priorities of the government.
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