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One in five Lebanese adults is optimistic about Lebanon's economic outlook for 2016

BEIRUT | iloubnan.info, with agencies - January 25, 2016, 10h47

A survey conducted by opinion polling and consulting firm Gallup on economic optimism in 68 countries worldwide shows that 20% of respondents in Lebanon are optimistic about their country's economic prospects in 2016.

According to Byblos Bank's "Lebanon This Week", this rate is up from 16% of participants who were optimistic about economic prospects for 2015 and 14% who had a similar opinion about 2014. In comparison, 45% of adults worldwide and 34% of adults in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region are optimistic about their country's economic prospects in 2016.

Gallop survey was led via telephone and face-to-face interviews that Gallup conducted with around 1,000 adults in each country between September 2015 and December 2015.

The share of Lebanese who are optimistic about the domestic economic outlook is the 25th lowest worldwide, similar to the share of respondents in Mexico. It is higher than the share of participants in Finland, Mongolia and Portugal (19% each), and lower than that in Tunisia and
Ukraine (22% each) and the Czech Republic (21%). It is also the third lowest among nine MENA countries included in the survey, better than only 14% of participants in the West Bank & Gaza who are optimistic about their country's economic conditions and 13% of respondents in Iraq who shared similar views about their economy's prospects.

Further, the survey showed that 21% of male adults in Lebanon are optimistic about the economic prospects in the country compared to 18% of female respondents who had similar views. Also, optimism about economic conditions is the highest among Lebanese aged between 45 and 54 years, as 30% of them expect the economy to prosper this year; while it is the lowest among adults aged 65 and above, as only 14% of them anticipate the economy to prosper in 2016.

In addition, the survey noted that 24% of retired or disabled persons are optimistic about the country's economic prospects in 2016, followed by full-time workers (21%), students and housewives (20% each), the unemployed (14%) and part-time employees (10%). Further, 29% of Lebanese adults with high income are optimistic about the country's economic prospects this year, followed by those with medium-level income (21%) and low-income earners (8%).

In parallel, the survey shows that 52% of participants in Lebanon are pessimistic about the country's economic outlook for 2016, almost similar to 51% of Lebanese who had the same opinion about 2015, but up from 44% of respondents who shared similar views about 2014. In comparison, 22% of adults worldwide and 32% of adults in the MENA region are pessimistic about their country's economic prospects.

The share of Lebanese who are pessimistic about the domestic economic outlook is the ninth highest worldwide and the third highest among MENA countries.

The survey indicated that 71% of Greeks are pessimistic about their country's economic prospects in 2016, the highest share in the world; while only 8% of adults in Pakistan anticipate a difficult year, the lowest share globally.

In addition, the survey noted that 27% of respondents in Lebanon expect economic conditions to stay the same this year, compared to 28% worldwide and similar to the share of respondents in the MENA region.

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#Business, #Economy
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