As part of our ongoing AnxietyIndex surveys, JWT fielded a study on the levels and drivers of consumer anxiety in Egypt last November. And while it seems like the current events in Egypt erupted from out of nowhere, our data reveals there were signs. We found that Egypt was the third most anxious of the 13 countries we’ve surveyed over the past two years, one signal that seeds of discontent were bubbling up less than three months before the popular uprising.
Our survey of 580 adults also found Egyptians to be much more anxious than other consumers polled in the region: 77 percent reported feeling very or somewhat nervous or anxious, compared with 57 percent in the UAE and 51 percent in Saudi Arabia.
Much of that anxiety stemmed from concern about the state of Egypt’s economy and the cost of living. More than eight in 10 Egyptians agreed it was getting harder to maintain their standard of living; only 55 percent expressed satisfaction with their current living standard and current job. Eight in 10 also felt the economic situation was getting worse, resulting in higher levels of violence and crime. And when asked about sources of anxiety specific to Egypt, respondents cited political instability/the government among their key concerns, along with the quality of education and health care.
The findings suggest a general sense of hopelessness among Egyptians. Asked when they thought the economy would start to improve, nearly half the respondents said they had no idea. Eight in 10 surveyed agreed somewhat or strongly that “Life is becoming less enjoyable,” and close to two-thirds said they had become “more pessimistic about the future of Egypt.”
For more on the findings, download the full report here.