The majority of the Lebanese are facing challenging socio-economic conditions as the high cost of living is seen as the major problem burdening them, a survey carried out by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung indicated.
The overwhelming majority of the survey respondents (95%) believed that things in Lebanon are moving in the wrong direction, while only 4% considered that things are moving in the right direction.
Just 22% are optimistic about the future outlook of the country, compared to 77% who are pessimistic, the Economic Perceptions Amidst Challenges survey showed.
The biggest three problems facing Lebanon today according to the respondents are:
- Corruption (40%)
- High cost of living/ high prices (39%)
- Job opportunities (34%)
Moreover, the three biggest problems facing the respondents’ families today are:
- High cost of living (51%)
- Job opportunities (36%)
- Electricity (21%)
Overall, up to two-thirds (68%) considered the current economic situation in Lebanon to be as very bad, with the majority saying to have lower levels of trust in Lebanese Lira in the future.
According to the respondents, the Lebanese economy can only be improved by stopping corruption, solving the electricity crisis, approving the health card, controlling waste of government resources, planning a public transport system, abolition of sectarianism, extraction of oil and gas, re-activating the Civil Service Council, and legalization of cannabis for medical purposes.
Participants also believed that prices for consumer goods as well as for the interest rate for loans will increase during the next 12 months.
More than half (52%) of the respondents were pessimistic about finding a solution to the housing loan crisis over the next year, whereas 33% were optimistic about solving this issue.
Overall, the Lebanese described their financial situation as having enough for survival, but not for extra things since they are unable to save nor spend money on luxury/extra items.
Respondents, therefore, are not willing to spend money on home appliances, renovation, new car or home, neither are they willing to invest inside or outside Lebanon.
In the survey, two-thirds (66%) of the respondents said that it is the wrong time to buy home appliances such as home furnishing, TV, fridge, or any similar items and expected to buy fewer household appliances compared to the past 12 months.
An overwhelming 85% of respondents are not willing to buy a new car in the next 12 months. And half of those who are willing to buy a car (12%) will buy a used one.
The vast majority (92%) are not willing to buy or build a house in the next 12 months. Similarly, 91% are not intending to spend large sums on improving and renovating their homes within the next 12 months.
The overwhelming majority of the survey participants are neither considering investing in Lebanon (92%) nor outside Lebanon (96%).
Only one in ten is intending to go on vacation abroad.
A considerable number of respondents (93%) reported not having any health coverage and the majority had no life insurance policy.
Tree-in-ten (30%) are considering emigration mainly to improve their financial situation (64%) or seek employment (25%). Majority of the respondents (63%) who are considering emigration want to permanently leave Lebanon and 33% are considering a temporary emigration.