Indians say world economy getting better

Thursday, 27 January 2005, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India is one of the few countries where people believe economic conditions around the globe are getting better, says a new BBC World Service survey.

The survey of 22 countries across the world, conducted before the Dec 26 tsunami, found that over half of urban Indians were positive about the global economy, a BBC statement said.

India, where the survey was conducted in Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi and Chennai, emerged as one of three top countries that were the most optimistic about the global economy with 55 percent, second only to urban China (68 percent).

Over half the Indians surveyed - 55 percent - were positive about their national economic performance.

Countries where urban residents shared this view about their own national economy were China (88 percent), South Africa (62), Chile (57) and established economies such as Australia (61), Canada (61) and Britain (57).

Asked about their family's economic conditions, urban Indians were again very optimistic (77 percent) as were urban residents in China (86) and the Philippines (68).

The poll was commissioned by BBC World Service before the tsunami and conducted by international polling firm GlobeScan together with the Programme on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland, US.

Lloyd Hetherington, vice president of GlobeScan, said: "It makes sense that India and China, both benefiting in their primary urban environments from the growth of the global economy such as offshore manufacturing, outsourcing, would be most likely to agree that economic conditions in the world are better.

"The benefits are tangible and visible, making it easier to link strong global demand with economic prosperity for their families."

Steven Kull, director of PIPA, noted: "The optimism expressed by Indians about their economic future is not surprising given that India's growth rate was 6.4 percent in 2004 and is projected to go up to 6.7 percent in 2005.

"However these findings are from polling done in the major cities, which have benefited from the effects of globalisation more than the countryside.

"Furthermore, while 91 percent of those with very high incomes say they are optimistic, this is true of 15 percent among those with very low income."

Kull said the rise of the Congress party in the 2004 general election "was widely read as being derived from an up-welling of the poor who have not benefited from the general economic growth and new developments such as young Indians in blue jeans working phone banks for global companies".

Almost 22,000 people were polled on five continents in the survey. The sample size was 1,005 people in India, where the poll was conducted during Dec 4-15, 2004.

Source: IANS
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