Survey Unveils Improvement In Economy

Alva M. Wolokolie

Liberia’s Afrobarometer, a comparative series of public attitude surveys covering about 35 African countries in Round 5 of its research findings has graded the economic condition of the country as being “fairly good or very good”.

The report says the living condition has increased by 8 percentage points from the 34 percent in 2008 to 42 percent in 2012 assessment. The survey which covers 2008-2012 reveals positive prospects for personal living conditions but unfavorable assessment of the macroeconomic condition. At the same time, Liberians have expressed dissatisfaction with the Unity Party-led government job performance in several areas of macroeconomic management and social service delivery.

Liberians assessment of the economic condition of the country and the performance of the government in the 2012 survey reflects the same pattern of mix rating in the improvement of the economy versus dissatisfaction in performance as was expressed in the 2008 survey.

Afrobarometer’s work in Liberia is coordinated by the Center for Democratic Development-Ghana. The group is working in collaboration with Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD). Field work for Round 5 was conducted in Liberia from 24 June to July 8, 2012. The survey interviewed 1200 adult Liberians.

At the official presentation of its findings yesterday at a local hotel, the Director of IREDD, Mr. Dan T. Saryee along with Kathy Addy from Afrobarometer told reporters that Liberians are divided in their opinion regarding the country’s economic condition while 46% think that the national economic condition is “fairly bad or very bad”, 42% think is “fairly good or very good”. Another 12% Liberians believe the present economic condition is “neither good nor bad”.

The two presenters, Saryee and Addy indicated that overtime, the percentage of Liberians who assess the national economic conditions to be “fairly bad or very bad” dropped by 12 percentage points to 2008 rating of 58 percent.

When asked about their personal living condition, Saryee and Kathy said the majority (51%) expressed optimism while another sizeable minority (37%) thinks it is “very bad or fairly bad”. Meanwhile, since 2008, the report explained that the optimism level about Liberians’ personal living condition has increased by 14% points from 37% in 2008 to 51% figure in 2012. Conversely, those who think of their personal living condition as being “very bad or fairly bad”, dropped by 12% points from 2008 figure of 49% to 37%    in 2012.

The report held under the theme: Liberians thought about Economic conditions amidst poor ratings of the government’s job performance however disclosed that government has been doing well in fighting crime, HIV/AIDS, women empowerment, providing basic health services, and catering to the needs of education.

From the report, it explained that the same people who are saying the economy is better are the same one saying that the government is not doing well in terms of performance. It also mentioned that there is slight improvement in the educational sector since 2008-2012.

The report which is a reality but an opinion of the people and their speculations  on how they see things highlighted that the government is fighting corruption, creating jobs, managing the economy and has been doing well in solving conflicts in communities while 45% of the respondents believe the government has not done well in those areas.

The release is expected to focus on corruption and trust in public institutions while the findings would be given to policy makers for future references.