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Survey: Economic optimism rose significantly among Indians in 2010
November, 20th 2010

After being hit by the global recession , economic optimism rose significantly among Indians in 2010, so did their perception about their own standard of living, the latest Gallup poll said.

Between 2007 and 2009, the percentage of Indians who believed their local economic conditions were getting better dropped from 52 per cent to 37 per cent, but rebounded to 45 per cent in 2010.

The Gallup said Indians' perceptions about their own standard of living follow a similar pattern.

This year, 44 per cent of Indians surveyed by Gallup said their standard of living is improving, up from 32 per cent last year.

This year's figure is identical to the findings of July 2008, before the severity of the global downturn was fully apparent, it said.

This rising optimism comes in tandem with the country regaining its high growth trajectory after the GDP increase rate saw a downturn in the recessionary years.

After dipping below six per cent in 2008/2009, India's real GDP growth exceeded seven per cent in 2009/2010 and is expected to approach nine per cent this year.

India's prosperity, however, is spread unevenly. Large income disparities exist between urban and rural areas and across regions, Gallup said, adding that regional results indicate the recession's effects were more severe for some Indians than others.

South and West regions, where industrial activity and the IT sector are concentrated, include major economic hubs of Bangalore and Mumbai. In these regions, 52 per cent say their standard of living is improving as against 39 per cent in the less developed North, Central, and East regions.

"Though optimism has rebounded in urban and rural areas, the recession in 2009 affected India's poorer regions more dramatically," it said.

Most of Gallup's indicators of economic optimism in India turned upward in 2010, with one significant exception -- the proportion of Indians who say it is a good time to find a job in their city or area remained flat at about one-third.

"Employment rates tend to lag behind other indicators of economic improvement, as economists have noted in reference to high ongoing jobless rates in the United States and other countries, because employers hesitate to resume hiring until they are convinced of a robust recovery," it said.

A majority of Indians surveyed in the southern and western states (54 per cent) say now is a good time to find a job, a figure that had hardly moved over the last two years.

By contrast, 16 per cent of Indians in the northern, eastern, and central states say it is a good time to find a job, down from 35 per cent in 2008.

Gallup said its results are based on face-to-face interviews with 6,000 Indian adults, aged 15 and older, conducted in June 2010.

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