The second quarter of 2019 has witnessed a continuation of worsening global and local economic conditions. According to the results of the second quarter of Ipsos’ Jordanian Consumer Sentiment Index (JCSI), Jordanians continued to express their frustration with the declining living standards prevailing in the country. Despite the Jordanian government’s efforts in adopting measures to aid in the economic and social development, the second quarter’s indicators were marked with stagnation with only a slight diffusion of the extreme negativity witnessed ahead of the implementation of the Income tax law in Q4 2018.
That said, in Q2, 2019 slight improvements were witnessed when it comes to Jordanians’ sentiments towards the government and the economic situation in general, pushing the Ipsos’ JCSI a few points up from 34.9 to 36.4. This positivity came mainly from segments known to be economically inactive such as students and housewives. However, this positivity was not enough to lead to significant improvements as the Ipsos’ Employment Confidence sub-index remained stagnant with over half of Jordanians witnessing Job losses within their families or personal acquaintances. Furthermore, amidst declining economic conditions, Jordanians’ expenditure on household necessities have also witnessed an increase which has also led Jordanians to spend less on more luxury items.
“The uncertainty that preceded the implementation of the New Income Tax law did in fact drive Jordanians consumers’ sentiment to its lowest levels historically. while we predicted this negativity to diffuse, the stagnation of the economy is slowing down this recovery” said Saif Nimry, Managing Director of Ipsos in Jordan and Iraq. “Caution and anticipation are the new normal amongst consumers globally as well as locally, where the majority of the public are waiting for actual results from their governments before showing any signs of relief or confidence towards the economy” he added.
As global economy continues to struggle and Jordan’s alike, Jordanians’ uncertainty is driving more attention towards economic news with 3 in 5 Jordanians being able to recall major economic developments occurring in the second quarter of 2019. However, the majority of Jordanians are more likely to remember negative news about the economy with 34% recalling news of price and taxes hikes, followed by 14% recalling news related to the deal of the century. This negativity is further amplified by recycling this news in daily conversations with friends & family, where 93% of economic news discussed where negative. Hence, with only 16% of news recalled and 5% of daily conversations being positive, Jordanians’ negative sentiments are still overshadowing any positive developments unravelling in the Kingdom.