Monday, July 16, 2012

Pew Survey: Turkey's positive economic outlook

by Salman Hameed

It is good to be back in Amherst and regular posts will resume here (let me know if I missed something this past week).

In the mean time, there is a new Pew survey out that looks at the perceptions of national economies across 21 countries, including several Arab and Muslim-majority countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkey and Pakistan). Overall, there is a gloom over the economy - and it is gloomier in the Arab world (though EU countries come close):

But one of the major exceptions to the gloomy outlook is Turkey (along with China, Brazil, Germany, and India). Just check out the table below. The percentage of people who see a positive outlook in Turkish economy has gone up from 14% in 2002 to 57% in 2012 (and a contrast in Pakistan, which which had 59% positive outlook in 2007, and is now hovering around 9%). But then check out Spain, Italy, and Japan - around 6 and 7%, and Greece at 2%.

Perhaps, not too surprisingly, few are satisfied with the direction of their respective counties. Here, look at Egypt. More than half of the respondents are satisfied with the direction of the country. But Turkey has gone up from 4% in 2002 to 47% in 2012 (and Pakistan going from 49% in '02 to 12% in '12).

I think it is way too early to say anything about the Arab countries included in the survey. The whole region is in flux and we'll have to see how things shape up. But Turkey, at this time, is clearly at a different level. There are a lot of vital changes taking place in Turkish political system as well and it will be interesting to see if it can keep up its economic growth.

Read the full report here (and download the pdf here).

Also see this post about an earlier Pew report: 
How the Muslim world sees American Science, Technology, and the Drones


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