Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: Most Kenyans Worried of 2014 Economy

Nairobi — A new survey released on Monday shows that majority of Kenyans are increasingly concerned about the cost of living in the New Year 2014.

The survey by IPSOS Synovate shows that 70 per cent of Kenyans interviewed are worried that the cost of living in the country may worsen next year, as compared to what they experienced this year.

"A majority of Kenyans across the country are pessimistic about the cost of living and general economic conditions in 2014. Specifically, the survey findings reveal that 70% and 60% of Kenyans respectively expect the cost of living and economic conditions to worsen next year," the poll summary sent to newsrooms on Monday states in part.

IPSOS Kenya Managing Director Margaret Ireri explains that even though the country's economy has improved, the impact has not trickled down to the ordinary people.

Most of those polled are worried that the cost of household goods and other basic needs is likely to remain higher next year as compared to this year which comes to an end tomorrow.

On the country's economic conditions, 60 per cent of those polled said it was likely to be worse next year as compared to this year.

Only 27 per cent appeared to be optimistic of a better year.

"Inflation and the high cost of living are making Kenyans downbeat. Although the economy has grown at a macro level, the benefits of this growth have not trickled down to the ordinary

mwananchi. The VAT Act 2013 has seen increase in the cost of many household goods and it is still an enormous challenge for Kenyans to meet their daily basic needs," Ireri said.

The survey further showed that only 40 percent of the population expect unemployment to reduce in 2014 whereas another 37 percent expressed fears that the rate of unemployment will actually increase.

"In regards to employment, those who feel the situation will improve have declined from 61% to a low of 37%," Synovate said, adding "According to World Bank, meaningful GDP growth, targeted at employment creation can only be achieved if an economy registers at least a 7 per cent growth rate and sustains it over decades but this is currently not the case in Kenya."

The poll shows that 49 per cent of 1619 respondents who participated said they expected security to improve in the new year

Ireri attributed the confidence to the Nyumba Kumi initiative launched recently by the government as part of efforts to restore security in the country.

However, 33 percent of Kenyans felt that security will get worse in the coming year despite the efforts and reforms being undertaken to improve the situation.

In 2013, Kenya suffered a series of terrorist-related attacks, including the Westgate attack that killed 67 people and a string of other attacks in Northern Kenya and the coastal city of Mombasa.

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