As the country's growth rate dipped below six percent in the last two quarters, more and more Indians have lost faith in the economy. A new survey released by the American think tank Pew Research Centre shows that a majority of Indians see their economy in negative outlook. "Just 38 percent of Indians are satisfied with the way things are going in the country – a 13 percentage point decline since last year," said the survey titled 'Deepening Economic Doubts in India', released on Monday.
"This is among the largest drops in national contentment across the countries surveyed in 2011 and 2012," says the survey.
Stories of lingering doubts about the gloomy Indian economic situation and policy paralysis are topic of debate worldwide. "In a world where the Americans, the Europeans and even the Chinese have reason to worry about their economies, it is the Indians who have lost the greatest faith in their economic fortunes," the survey notes.
"Only 45 percent of Indians think their economy will improve over the next 12 months. Such optimism has declined 15 points since 2011, again the largest falloff among the 17 nations with comparable data," it says.
The mood about their country's economic performance just trailed behind China while it was comparable with Brazil in 2011. Now it sees a huge jump in the survey. "Today, Indians’ evaluation of their current national economic situation trails that in China by 34 percentage points and Brazil by 16 points. And Indian optimism about the next year lags behind that in Brazil by 39 points and China by 38 points," the survey trend shows.
The face-to-face survey of more than 4,000 people in India was conducted between March 19 and April 19 in 2012.
The Pew Research Centre also shows that nearly half of Indians (49 percent) think current economic conditions are good, but such sentiment is down seven percentage points from 2011.
A majority of Indians (roughly eight in ten) point out that unemployment and rising prices are very big problems. The high inflation rate has been continuing for the last three years. Most Indians are also worried about their children's economic prospects. According to the survey, "About two-thirds (66 percent) think it will be difficult for their kids to get a better job or become wealthier than the current generation."
However, 50 percent Indians say they are better off than they were five years ago, possibly reflecting a one-third increase in gross national income per capita over the same period, says the survey results. "Gone is the sense of well-being and optimism that prevailed just a few years ago when many private economists forecast that Indian economic growth would soon surpass that in China," points out the survey.
And the last few months talk between India and Pakistan could not lift sentiments of Indians about the neighbour. "Just 13 percent of all Indians have a positive view of their neighbor. Nevertheless, seven-in-ten overall think it is important to improve relations, including through resolution of the Kashmir dispute (77 percent), increased trade (64 percent) and further negotiations (58 percent)," says the survey.
With another neighbour - China, only a third of urban Indians have a favourable view of China.
Read the report
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