Kenyans wary of economy – survey

May 28, 2012
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Those interviewed are unhappy with rising costs/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – At least 78 percent of Kenyans view the economy as weak, despite positive indicators of easing inflation and the onset of rains, according to the latest Ipsos-Synovate survey.

Similarly, 42 percent expressed pessimism on the current state of the economy, while just four percent felt the economy was very strong.

Geographically, the most pessimistic respondents came from Western Province where almost half felt the economic situation was dire, unlike their counterparts in North Eastern where half thought the economic situation was somewhat good.

Interventions by the Central Bank to strengthen the exchange rate and slow inflation have not translated into lower prices of goods and services.

“A year ago a half litre packet of milk was retailing at Sh23. Today, the same packet costs double, between Sh46-48 in most places. This is a classic illustration of the increase in the cost of living yet incomes have remained static,” Ipsos-Synovate Managing Director Maggie Ireri said.

The survey also revealed that almost half of Kenyans (49 percent) knew someone who lost their job in the last six months as a result of the economic situation.

“The government is going to have to do a lot more to ensure that the benefits of reduced inflation and a stable currency are trickling down to the grassroots,” Ireri said.

Majority of Kenyans (58 percent) also felt the country is headed in the wrong direction, with urban areas higher at 61 percent in comparison to 34 percent who believed things are heading in the right direction.

Overall, women were more negative with almost half (48 percent) describing the economy as very bad, while men were roughly split evenly between those who felt it was somewhat good (37 percent) and very bad (36 percent).

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