Zimbabweans are now the most likely people in Southern Africa to say they are finding it easier to get by, a survey by international polling agency Gallup says.
The poll released last week shows that Zimbabweans have moved from among the most pessimistic two years ago to the most optimistic people in the region with a staggering one in five saying they are living comfortably.
Two years ago only 9 percent said they were living comfortably. Some 16 percent said they were finding things very difficult, down from 31 percent in 2009.
The results were based on face-to-face interviews with 1 000 adults in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Only 39 percent this year said they did not have enough money at times to buy food that they and their families needed. This was a drastic improvement from 73 percent in 2009 and 80 percent in 2008.
“Zimbabweans are now the most likely in Southern Africa to say that they are finding it easier to get by,” the poll says. “These data suggest many Zimbabweans are benefitting from the government’s efforts to bring hyperinflation under control and lower prices.
“Zimbabwe is on a path to recovery with GDP growth, but the country’s economic future remains shaky, particularly with a large deficit.”
Finance Minister Tendai Biti said recently the country could have a deficit of $500 million. It had a budget of $2.7 billion.
“The coalition government has managed to keep the economy from plunging into serious crisis,” the poll says. “At the same time, political tensions are growing with the possibility of elections in the near future. Election-related violence and instability may threaten to derail the clear economic gains Zimbabweans are currently enjoying.”