Economic downturn worries Lebanese
Most Lebanese are pessimistic about economic prospects, revealed a consumer confidence survey released by regional job search website Bayt.com and human resources consultancy YouGov.
The survey’s results showed 37 percent of respondents, interviewed over the weekend, believe that the economic situation so far in 2012 is similar to last year, while 51 percent believe that it is worse and only 5 percent believe it has improved.When asked to compare their current financial situation to the same time last year, 38 percent of respondents said they consider it to be the same. Yet, 41 percent said their situation is worse, and only 16 percent stated that it has improved. Respondents’ sentiments about the local business climate was also negative, according to the survey.
A total of 33 percent said they believe 2012 is a “neutral time” for business and 47 percent consider it to be a “bad time.” Just 13 percent stated that the current year is a “good time” for business. While 48 percent stated now is a “neutral time to buy” merchandize, only 7 percent think it is a good time.
Employment conditions are not considered to be favorable by most respondents, with 52 percent claiming that there are very few jobs available. Of the respondents, 28 percent said their company has fewer employees than it did at the same time last year, and 24 percent said that they now have more colleagues. A 73 percent majority of participants think their salaries have not kept up with the increasing cost of living.
The survey reported mixed feelings toward the future. A total of 32 percent believe that their personal financial situation will be better in a year’s time. However, 37 percent stated that the country’s economy will get worse overall, and 33 percent expected that it will remain the same.
Just 21 percent said they are optimistic that their companies will employ extra staff. Inflation will continue to have a negative impact upon the cost of living, according to 57 percent of respondents. The cost of property for rental or purchase is creating a feeling of negativity, according to 44 percent. Of the respondents, 22 percent are considering buying a vehicle in the coming year, with just 13 percent looking to buy property. The most desired major purchase is a computer.