'Indians downbeat about economic fortunes'

'Indians downbeat about economic fortunes'  Washington: With the slowdown in the economy, the Indian public's confidence in their country's direction and future economic growth has declined significantly compared with just a year ago, according to a new survey.

In a world where the Americans, the Europeans and even the Chinese have reason to worry about their economies, it is the Indians who have lost the greatest faith in their economic fortunes, said the survey released Monday by the Pew Research Centre.

Indians today are mixed in their assessment of their national economy: 49 percent say the economy is in good shape, while 45 percent describe the economy as bad, said the Washington "fact tank".

A year ago opinion was more upbeat, with a 56 percent-majority saying the national economy was doing well, compared with 43 percent who disagreed.

Despite this decline, Indians remain more positive about current economic conditions than populations in most of the 17 countries surveyed in both 2011 and 2012 by the Pew Research Centre's Global Attitudes Project.

And Indians are more optimistic about their economy's trajectory over the next year than many of the publics surveyed in both years, the survey said.

Nevertheless, the trend line in India conveys a more troubling story, it said noting just 38 percent of Indians are satisfied with the way things are going in the country - a 13 percentage point decline since last year.

This is among the largest drops in national contentment across the countries surveyed in 2011 and 2012.

Meanwhile, the proportion of Indians who think current economic conditions are good is down seven percentage points from 2011. And only 45 percent of Indians think their economy will improve over the next 12 months.

Such optimism has declined 15 points since 2011, again the largest falloff among the 17 nations with comparable data.

A year ago, Indians' economic mood trailed that in China, bested that in Europe and the United States, and was comparable to that in Brazil.

Today, Indians' evaluation of their current national economic situation trails that in China by 34 percentage points and Brazil by 16 points.

Indian satisfaction with the direction of the country is descending toward that in Europe and the United States and hope for the future has been surpassed by that in America, the survey said.

IANS