Majority of Pakistanis worried about jobs-rising inflation and poverty

Majority of Pakistanis worried about jobs-rising inflation and poverty

The Majority of Pakistanis are worried about economic future-jobs-rising inflation-poverty- expensive education and health. They are worried as their incomes are shrinking and expenses are rising.
They are not satisfied with the economic direction of the country. Their hopes for better economic opportunities –jobs and living condition are fading fast. Their hopes that PTI government would improve the economy and bring down the prices of food- utilities and services and are shattering.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised to create 10 million jobs in five years and build five million homes. However, last week, the prime minister acknowledged that the government could not give jobs to the people, although he claimed that 2020 would be the year of economic revival. But so far no roadmap of economic recovery has been given by the government.

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.

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.

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.

                                                           Khalid Bhatti 

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