For JWT’s latest AnxietyIndex survey, we launched a baseline study in Pakistan, polling 590 adults aged 18-plus across socioeconomic classes. We found that Pakistan is among the most anxious countries we have studied, with 89 percent reporting that they are nervous or anxious, just a few points behind Japan, which ranks as the most anxious market. Anxiety is being driven primarily by economic concerns. On a micro level, this translates to anxiety around the basics of getting by: employment, and food and gasoline prices.
Given the level of anxiety, it’s not surprising that few Pakistanis are optimistic about the future. Approximately half of all respondents feel that factors that affect them every day—such as the cost of basic necessities—will deteriorate over the next six months. And when asked when the overall state of the economy might improve, few can foresee things improving soon, with 77 percent saying they have no idea when the economy will get better.
Over the past decade, Pakistan has faced severe issues related to law and order. The nation is perceived as a risky venture, so the flow of investment is low. Pakistan is also one of the few economies where the U.S. dollar has gained versus the local currency, so the cost of importing fuel has increased tremendously. This has directly impacted inflation, resulting in a higher cost of living generally and higher costs for health care.
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