ISLAMABAD: Marking the highest optimism in last two years, 18pc Pakistanis believe that the country is heading in the right direction.

It said males were twofold more optimistic than females. However, economic problems continued to top the list of worrying issues for Pakistanis.

These were the crux of the “Consumer confidence index survey” conducted by a market research company, Ipsos, for the second quarter of the year 2024.

The study, in which over 1,000 people were interviewed, was held in all four provinces, Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The data collection was done May 20 to May 29.

The findings showed that optimism had significantly increased from 12 per cent to 18pc in the second quarter marking it the highest in the last two years.

Economic problems continued to top the list of worrying issues for Pakistanis. However, a significant decrease was seen in the perception of inflation as the most worrying issue since the first quarter of the current year. After increase in inflation, unemployment, increasing poverty, electricity loadshedding and prices of electricity were major issues of concerns for them.

The findings showed that 16pc Pakistanis believed that economic condition of the country was strong. Males, urbanites, graduates and upper class were more optimistic.

The number of Pakistanis calling the country’s current state of economy as ‘strong’ has increased four times whereas those considering it ‘neither strong not weak’ reduced by 20cp.

As prices of edible items have reduced by about 10pc compared to 4pc in the first quarter, the respondents said they were comfortable in making daily purchases.

Another interesting finding was that two in 10 Pakistanis expected local economic situations and three in 10 their own personal financial situations to get better in the next six months.

It also showed that since Sept 2023, there was a constant growth in the number of Pakistanis who were confident in their ability to save for future, showing signs of steady but stable growth.

As compared to 2pc in the first quarter, 7pc Pakistanis were comfortable in making major purchases. Confidence in job security has also slightly increased to 15pc since the last quarter (12pc).

The study showed one in two Pakistanis claiming to personally know someone who lost their job as a result of the economic conditions.

Despite showing some signs of recovery, Ipsos’s global confidence index shows that Pakistan’s score remains lowest among comparative emerging markets, including India, Turkey, China and Brazil.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2024

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