, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 31 – As Kenyans usher in the New Year most people are pessimistic about the economic situation which they expect to get worse in 2012.
According to a survey conducted by Synovate between December 12 and 19, 62 percent of Kenyans don’t think the cost of living will get better.
“Majority of Kenyans expect that the economic conditions in 2012 will be worse than 2011. The net effect of this is net hope level of -41 percent which translates to a pessimistic outlook for 2012,” the report indicated.
While six percent do not know how the economy will be in 2012, only 21 percent hope for a better economy in the New Year.
Despite economists having projected a five percent growth in 2012, Kenyans still think the economy will get worse than it was in 2011.
The 2,000 respondents interviewed expressed serious concerns over rising cost of living in view of cost of food, transport, energy and house rent, which they think will not improve in 2012, “Concerns about the high cost of living have soared from 33 percent in April to 71 percent in December 2011.”
Synovate referred to the reports by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) which predicted that inflation had risen from 5.42 percent in January 2011 to 18.91 percent in November 2011.
“This means the average cost of goods and services is up 18.91 percent from what they were a year ago. According to the KNBS, the increase in inflation was driven by rising cost of food, transport, energy and house rent,” Synovate asserted.
Kenyans are also concerned over lack of jobs and they don’t expect 2012 to be the year of solving the serious challenge that has affected most of the Kenyan youth.
“In the survey, 51percent of Kenyans expect the employment situation to be worse in 2012. Only 19 percent expect that this will be better while 15 percent see nothing changing in 2012. Some 20 percent did not know what to say about this, the net hope is -37 percent,” Synovate asserted.
According to the report by the research company 56 percent of Kenyans think that political temperatures will grow worse in 2012.
They also believe politicians will gang in various alliances to either support Prime Minister Raila Odinga or to ensure he does not win the presidency.
“At the same time, political analysts predict that political alliances will be characterised by those seeking to support or stop Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s quest for the Presidency. This means that the political climate in the country will intensify next year as the battle to succeed Kibaki heats up,” Synovate said.
However it was not possible to accurately point out who will become Kenya’s president as a runoff will be inevitable with predictions that Odinga will not get enough support to make him win in the first round of elections.
Meanwhile, most Kenyans hope that 2012 will be a year of peace and unity in view of the general elections.
Those who spoke to Capital News yearned for a Kenya that is not divided along ethnic lines.
“People should love each other, they should be peaceful, they should not stick to their tribes, whether Kikuyu, Luo, Kalenjin, Kamba, Meru or Maasai, we should see ourselves as Kenyans,” said a trader in the Central Business District.
Others asked the government to ensure strikes do not become the order of resolving problems of workers in the country.
They asked the government to honour its pledges to avoid strikes such as those witnessed when doctors and lecturers downed their tools.
They also hoped the cost of living would come down saying it was very hard for them to afford food, transport and other basic services.