Georgians Are Not Terribly Worried About Economic Unrest

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The FINANCIAL — Georgians are among some of the least economically worried people in the world this year, according to a recent poll conducted by Georgian Opinion Research Business International and other members of WIN Gallup International’s network.

 

Out of 59 countries, Georgia ranks as the 10th least worried country when it comes to the possibility of labor unrest or industrial disputes.

When GORBI asked Georgians whether they thought that “in 2012, economy related protests and industrial disputes in (Georgia) will increase, decrease, or remain the same,” 27% said that there would be more protests or disputes, 23% thought there would be fewer, and 25% expected the situation to stay the same.  By subtracting the percentage of those who think that labor disputes will decline from those who think that labor disputes will increase, we get the Economic Pain Index for Georgia, which is +5.  This is a much better score than the global average, a +42.

 

Growing and Wealthy Countries Predict Unrest

 

Globally, 55% of people expect that labor unrest and/or industrial disputes will increase.  If you’ve read the last two GORBI articles in The Financial, you might expect that the richest countries would have this year’s highest scores in Economic Pain.  You would be right in this assumption, but you might be surprised to know that there are equally high scores among many poorer nations, specifically those who’ve see growth in recent years.  The countries of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), who are commonly grouped in order to evaluate the world’s large, developing economies, scored a collective +48, and the countries of the G7 that were polled (US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan) scored a +45. 

 

See also  Time Shifting 

Most Extreme Economic Pain Index Scores

 

Country

Net Pain

Increase

Decrease

The Same

DK/NA

Afghanistan  

-19%

24%

43%

27%

6%

Iraq  

-17%

26%

43%

22%

9%

Vietnam  

12%

24%

36%

31%

9%

Moldova   

-9%

18%

27%

27%

28%

Uzbekistan  

-7%

11%

18%

52%

19%

Georgia  

5%

27%

22%

26%

25%

Global

42%

55%

13%

25%

7%

Lebanon 

55%

66%

11%

17%

7%

Belgium  

61%

67%

6%

21%

5%

China  

63%

71%

8%

17%

3%

France   

68%

72%

4%

24%

0%

Ireland   

70%

74%

4%

22%

0%

 

By comparing these wealthy and large, developing economies to geographic regions with typically weaker economies, we can see a definite difference.  African countries had an Economic Pain index of 28, and countries labeled “global flash points” had a much less fearful score of 10. The two countries with the lowest scores, and therefore the most “relaxed,” were Iraq (-17) and Afghanistan (-19).  These numbers may represent a case of “nowhere to go but up,” or an example of the unavoidable economic unrest that comes from growth.  They might even describe a worldwide assumption that the economic landscape is in the process of changing fundamentally, but it’s undeniable that most of the wealthy nations’ populations are predicting national shifts in their political and economic situation. 

Georgia’s “Economic Pain” Over Two Decades

 

It’s good to view Georgia’s economic predictions in relation to its neighbors, but we also have the ability to look at this same data from Georgia historically. Since its inception in 1991, GORBI has been conducting regular polls in Georgia and abroad; this ever growing archive of data allows us to draw trends over time. This same question has been asked of Georgian citizens 14 times over the last 20 years and shows us some interesting trends. Georgia has seen quite a rollercoaster of prediction since 1992, as is evident by the table below. 

See also  Time Shifting 

 

Georgian Economic Pain Index

 

Years

Net Pain

Increase

Decrease

The Same

DK/NA

1992

-7%

37%

44%

9%

10%

1994

24%

50%

26%

14%

10%

1995

-22%

13%

35%

25%

27%

1996

-20%

18%

38%

35%

9%

1997

-3%

27%

30%

31%

12%

1999

-2%

27%

29%

27%

17%

2000

36%

46%

10%

24%

20%

2001

28%

41%

13%

32%

15%

2002

19%

32%

13%

27%

28%

2003

-38%

9%

47%

12%

32%

2004

-9%

14%

23%

30%

32%

2005

13%

29%

16%

35%

19%

2006

3%

19%

16%

33%

32%

2011

4%

27%

23%

25%

25%

 

It’s interesting to note the trends in predictions visible here: for instance, those optimistic numbers in 1995 responding to a steady increase of economic fear, ending in a dramatic jump in 2000.  Perhaps even more striking is the immediate and drastic drop in Economic Pain predictions after the 2003 revolution, by far the most optimistic predictions in 20 years, and its subsequent slow increase each year.  In the coming weeks, GORBI will be publishing more of such trend data to discuss the changes in Georgian attitudes over time.

This poll was conducted by WIN Gallup International’s network of polling agencies in 56 countries worldwide, including GORBI in Georgia, and covers over 75% of the earth’s population.  There were more than 50,000 people included in the study, and just over a thousand Georgians.  The error margins for studies of this kind are +- 3.5% at a 95% confidence interval.

 

 

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