Only 16 percent of Pakistanis believe local economy is getting better

Only 16 per cent of people in Pakistan believe that their local economy is getting better, which is the lowest in the region except for Afghanistan, Dawn reported citing a Gallup survey report released this week.

The survey by Gallup World Poll showcases how the unrest in Pakistan is rooted in its economic woes. T

The survey stated that the perceptions of corruption in Pakistan have reached a record high, living standards have plummeted and left millions of people struggling to meet their basic needs. The survey revealed that the economic downturn is being felt hardest in Sindh.

 The authors Hashim Pasha and Benedict Vigers in the report said, "Except for Afghanistan, where the economy has crumbled since the Taliban's takeover, Pakistan ranks lower than all other countries in the Asia-Pacific region in perceptions of improving economic conditions."

86 per cent of Pakistanis consider corruption to be widespread in Pakistan's government and 80 per cent believe that corruption in businesses has hit record highs, Dawn reported.

Showcasing the connection between the recent political turmoil and economic crisis, the authors said that Pakistan's economy has seen record inflation, rising commodity prices, and significant declines in foreign investment and remittances, as per the Dawn report.

Catastrophic floods in 2022, partly overlapping the timing of Gallup's fieldwork in Pakistan also caused an estimated $15 billion in economic losses.

The report said that former Pakistan PM Imran Khan's arrest Imran Khan and the "subsequent civil unrest have added to the economic misery" as the value of Pakistani rupees (PKR) against the dollar dropped to a historic low.

The report said, "Recent mass protests coupled with an ongoing constitutional crisis have compounded the already chronic sense of instability in the South Asian nation and have made its efforts to avoid a sovereign default more precarious," according to Dawn report.

The authors said that at the beginning of Imran Khan's tenure as Pakistan's PM in 2018, Pakistani were far more likely to think their living standards were getting better than getting worse. The outlook of people in Pakistan has worsened ever since, according to the report.

In 2022, 19 per cent of Pakistanis said their living standards were improving and 48 per cent said they were getting worse. According to the survey, Pakistani women are more likely to be affected by the economic slump than men, Dawn reported.

The number of people in Pakistan who struggled to afford shelter increased in 2022 to 32 per cent, which is one of its highest points on record, as per the Dawn report. Speaking about the ongoing political situation in Pakistan, the report said that "the country is on the brink of default, and its future is deeply uncertain."

According to the report, the quality of life in Pakistan is unlikely to improve "as long as a sustainable political solution remains elusive," Dawn reported. It warned that until it happens, the people of Pakistan will continue to believe that they live in a corrupt system.