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Majority pessimistic over current, future economic conditions — poll

Ailing economy behind low approval ratings of government, premier

By Raed Omari - Apr 27,2018 - Last updated at Apr 27,2018

AMMAN — Sixty-nine per cent of Jordanians see their current economic conditions as much worse than last year, according to a recent opinion poll.

The poll results, released on Thursday, indicated that only eight per cent of Jordanians see an improvement to their living conditions these days in comparison with last year, while 23 per cent of them see no change in their economic situation.

The survey, carried out between April 12-24 by the Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS) at the University of Jordan, polled 1,848 Jordanians aged over 18 and a smaller group of 700 “opinion leaders”, including political figures, academics and journalists.

The findings showed that Jordanians are mostly concerned about economic conditions, unemployment, the increasing living expenses and poverty, said CSS Director Musa Shteiwi.

As for personal economic outlook for the next 12 months, 51 per cent of the grassroots sample expected their status to be worse than now, while 26 per cent foresaw improvement and 20 per cent said that their conditions would not likely change.

Regarding the Kingdom’s current economic conditions, compared to the past 12 months, 74 per cent of opinion leaders said that current conditions are worse than a year ago, 21 per cent said they are the same and only 4 per cent said that Jordan’s economic status has improved.

Thirty-five per cent of the grassroots  sample said that electricity is the biggest burden on their families’ budgets, followed by food and beverages with 26 per cent and higher education (10 per cent).

Thirty per cent of respondents from the same sample said they believed that the government was able to shoulder its responsibilities in the “past phase” (Cabinet 31 per cent, premier alone 29 per cent).

Opinion leaders gave the government a better evaluation for shouldering its responsibilities (all Cabinet 37 per cent, premier alone 40 per cent and the ministerial team excluding the premier 38 per cent).

The grassroots sample’s reasons for the government’s perceived “inability” to carry out its mandate successfully were mainly attributed to frequent price hikes (22 per cent) and failure to combat corruption (17 per cent).

On the other side, the opinion leaders’ assessment was based on the bad economic conditions (26 per cent), failure to make achievements and carry out reforms (21 per cent), and weak planning and management (14 per cent), among others.

The poll findings showed a slight drop in the assessment of national sample and opinion leaders of the government’s ability to address main issues listed in the Royal Letter of Designation.

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