How Economy Performs? Very Bad, Bad or Well
A survey conducted in March and April 2012 by the U.S-based opinion polling think tank Pew Research Center indicated that 53% of Lebanese
consider that the current economic situation in Lebanon is very bad and 35% think it is bad, compared to 12% who believe it is good, as reported by Lebanon This Week, Byblos Bank economic publication.
The trend has somewhat deteriorated from the 2011 survey when 50% of Lebanese respondents believed that the econom ic situation was very bad, as well as from the 2010 survey when 52% of respondents said the economy was very bad.
Overall, 88% of Lebanese respondents said that the current economic situation in Lebanon is bad or very bad, compared to 85% in 2011 and 86% in 2010 who had the same opinion. In parallel, 83% of Tunisians consider that the current economic situation in Tunisia is bad or very bad, 71% of Egyptians acknowledged that their economy is performing badly or very badly, and 70% of Jordanian respondents think the same about their economy.
Further, the survey pointed out that 29% of Lebanese respondents expect the economic situation in the country to remain the same in the next 12 months, 23% of respondents project that it will somewhat worsen, 22% of participants think that it will worsen a lot, and
22% said it will improve. As such, 45% of Lebanese respondents expect the economic situation in Lebanon to worsen or worsen a lot, compared to 34% of Jordanians who anticipate a worsening of their country's economic performance, 20% of Egyptian respon- dents who consider that local economic conditions will deteriorate or deteriorate a lot, and 12% of survey participants in Tunisia who think the same about their economy.
Expectations of worsening economic conditions in Lebanon started to deteriorate since the 2010 survey when 19% of Lebanese respon- dents believed at the time that Lebanon's economic performance will worsen a lot in the next 12 months, with this percentage rising to 21% of respondents in 2011 and 22% of survey participants in 2012. Also, expectations of a stagnating economy have strengthened since 2010, when 26% of Lebanese respondents believed at the time that economic conditions will remain the same over the coming 12 months. The percentage of respondents with the same opinion was unchanged in 2011 but rose to 29% in 2012.
In parallel, the survey said that 53% of Lebanese respondents prefer a good democracy if they have to choose between a strong econ- omy and a good democracy, compared to 46% of Lebanese who prefer a strong economy over a good democracy. In comparison, 48% of Egyptians prefer a good democracy over a strong economy, followed by 40% of Tunisians and 33% of Jordanians.
Also, the survey pointed out that 87% of Lebanese respondents consider that it is very important to be able to criticize the government, relative to 68% of Turks and 40% of Jordanians who think the same. Also, it noted that 84% of Lebanese respondents believe that democracy is the best form of government, up from 81% in 2011, and compared to 67% of Egyptian respondents, 63% of Tunisians and 61% of Jordanians who participated in the survey. The survey was conducted between March 19 and April 10, 2012 as part of the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project. It selected a sample of 1,000 Lebanese above 18 years old.
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