Jordanians 10% less confident about state of economy — survey

jordan shopping
People shop at Al-Sukkar market in downtown Amman, in this recent photo. (Photo: Amjad Taweel/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordanians were 10 percent less confident about the current state of the economy in the first quarter of the year, compared to the previous quarter, according to a study issued by international market research firm IPSOS.اضافة اعلان

The drop indicates a significant deterioration in people’s outlook regarding the future state of the economy and their personal financial situation, according to IPSOS’ Consumer Sentiment Index, a monthly survey of consumer attitudes that seeks to predict general consumption and investment trends in the markets and economies.

IPSOS also found that although Jordanians still view unemployment as the top concern for the country, their concern over rising living costs increased by 7 percent, constituting a key concern for 48 percent of Jordanians.

The research firm attributes the drop to stricter measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 during the first quarter of 2021, when Jordan was battling the second wave of the virus, with cases registered at the height of the wave exceeding 9,000 per day.

Jordan’s score in the index dropped 3.6 points, compared to last quarter, according to IPSOS.

The drop witnessed in the overall index was primarily led by a decline across three out of the four main indices: Personal financial conditions, economic expectations and investment climate.

As for investment, Jordan currently ranks among the bottom five countries, out of 23 surveyed economies, as Jordanians feel less confident about their ability to invest, as the negative outlook towards investment increased by 7 percent, unlike other surveyed countries, where improved ability to invest in the future was perceived.

A similar trend was observed in the study in terms of job security; while people worldwide are somewhat more confident about their job security than last quarter, Jordan on the other hand is among the only three countries globally who showed lower confidence levels.

“As long as the virus continues to dictate the need for such precautionary measures, Jordanians’ bleak economic outlook is bound to persist,” a statement from IPSOS said.

“Hope now lies in the aftermath of the government’s nationwide vaccination rollout; and the acceleration of economic openness coinciding with the increase in demand for the vaccine, which will lead to an economic recovery, albeit slow,” the statement added.

“An economic slowdown was expected given the steep rise in cases and associated protective measures. But what was really interesting this quarter is that Jordanians are more understanding of the need for this lockdown and are more supportive of governmental measures compared to Q4 of 2020,” Saif Nimry, managing director of Ipsos Jordan & Iraq, was quoted as saying in the statement.

“We hope that this understanding will translate to better and faster adoption of the national vaccination campaign, to facilitate the national efforts for a safe, open and economically revived summer,” he added.

Ipsos’ Jordanian Consumer Sentiment Index’s quarterly result is driven by the aggregation of four weighted sub-indices relating to current personal financial conditions, economic expectations, investment climate, and employment confidence, according to Ipsos.

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