The Overall Consumer Confidence Index of Pakistanis in the fourth quarter of the current year has gone up by three points compared to the same period last year.

The survey, conducted by market research company Ipsos, shows that an upward trend can be seen in Pakistanis’ optimism about the country’s direction. Moreover, male members of the society, the middle-aged and rural dwellers are more optimistic than others.

However, Pakistanis’ perception of the country’s direction being wrong has not always been the case, as in the election year 2018, 74 percent of the population thought of the country heading in the right direction.

Data shows that inflation, unemployment and rising poverty still haunted majority of the public.

There is a sharp increase in the perception of inflation as the most worrying issue, however concern regarding floods significantly dropped in the last one quarter.

The data shows that inflation and unemployment have always been the biggest concerns for Pakistanis in the last decade, however, the magnitude of concern was much lower before 2019.

Only 5 percent of the population seem to call the current state of the economy strong, the survey stated, adding that only one in six foresee the economy getting stronger. It showed that nearly one in four people expect their financial situation to get better in the next six months, while more than half (55pc) think that their financial situation would become weaker in the coming six months.

“Pakistanis’ confidence regarding job security remained extremely low with nine in 10 less confident about it compared to one year ago; 55pc of Pakistanis claimed to personally know someone who lost their job as a result of economic conditions and the trend is consistent in the last one quarter,” the report stated.

“Pakistanis’ confidence about their ability to invest in the future has slightly slipped further. Similarly, 95pc of people are less confident to make a major purchase and the same number of people are less comfortable in making household purchases,” it stated.

“Compared with last year, Pakistan Consumers’ Confidence Index gained three points, However, Pakistan remains the lowest among similar emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India, South Africa and Turkey,” it stated.

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