By BBC World Service International Publicity
Published November 3, 2011
Kenya, Egypt, Ghana and Nigeria represented Africa in the poll of 25,438 people conducted by GlobeScan between July and September 2011 in which respondents were asked to say whether they expect good or bad economic times in 2012, and also over the next five years. Globally, consumers in many of the world’s major industrialised economies are pessimistic about economic prospects in their country, while those in emerging economies are much more upbeat.
On average, 59% of African respondents predict that economic conditions during the next 12 months will be ‘good’ or ‘mostly good,’ while only 14% say they expect bad economic times. This optimistic sentiment is found consistently in each of the four African countries surveyed.
Nigeria is the country with by far the highest proportion of optimists among all countries surveyed (72%), and the percentage has increased by 11 points since 2010. Respondents from the three other African countries surveyed also have majorities who think their country will experience ‘good’ or ‘mostly good’ times in the year ahead, above the proportions in any other surveyed country: 57% in Egypt, 55% in Kenya, and 53% in Ghana. Like Nigerians, Kenyans and Ghanaians are much more upbeat about economic prospects in their country compared to 2010 (24% more optimists in Kenya, 13% more in Ghana).
The longer-term picture also shows buoyant sentiment among Africans, especially in Egypt and Nigeria. Egyptians are the most positive of all the countries surveyed about business conditions over the next five years, with almost three in four (74%) saying they anticipate ‘continuous’ or ‘mostly’ good economic conditions. They are closely followed by Nigerians (73%, up 10 points since 2010). Ghana follows with 60% (up 14 points since 2010). Kenyans are less upbeat, although 48% of them predict good business conditions. This percentage has increased by 12 points since 2010.
“Much of Africa has missed out on the economic growth of recent decades that has lifted many countries in Asia and Latin America out of poverty. But with steady and sustained growth in Nigeria in recent years, and encouraging signs elsewhere on the continent, this suggests that Africans may now feel that better times are ahead , in sharp contrast to the situation in many of the world’s major economies,’ says Sam Mountford, Research Director, GlobeScan Incorporated, of the survey findings.
This is the third year the poll has measured economic confidence around the world. Focusing just on the change in consumer confidence since 2010, most of the countries seeing the biggest increases are in the developing world, with the biggest rises in Kenya (up 24 points since 2010), Mexico (up 23 points), Turkey (up 16), and Indonesia and Germany (each up 14). The proportions expecting good times have dropped in two countries: India (down 11 points since 2010) and Australia (down 9 points). Economic confidence has been largely static over the same period in the UK and other G7 economies like France, Canada, the USA and Japan.
GlobeScan Chairman, Doug Miller, says, “The poll suggests citizens in many industrialised economies — most notably the UK and US– see their immediate and longer-term economic prospects as bleak, and the continuing eurozone crisis will only be making matters worse. It also reveals continuing strong consumer confidence in emerging giants such as Brazil, India, and China.”
International polling firm GlobeScan conducted this poll for BBC World Service between July 3, 2011 and September 16, 2011. The margin of error per country ranges from +/- 2.0 to 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.