Buenos Aires Times

Is Argentina on the right track?

Fifty-five percent of interviewees in Argentina said the country is heading in the right direction, a jump of 11 points.

Saturday 21 October, 2017
Macri, Caputo and Dujovne. An strict board for ruling the economy.
Macri, Caputo and Dujovne. An strict board for ruling the economy. Foto:Cedoc.

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Most Argentines seem to think the country is heading in the right direction, a new Ipsos survey indicates, and that’s a notable change. Not only does this headline finding differ from results in the past six months (when the scale was pointing toward being on the wrong track) but it also means Argentina is one of only six countries (China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Canada) where the public is generally satisfied with their country’s current situation.

As the second year of Mauricio Macri’s administration comes to an end, other indicators show that things are looking up. A third of the population (33 percent) thinks the economic situation is good, a rise of 13 percentage-points on than last month. Moreover, half of those surveyed expect the economy to improve in the next six months, together with their personal financial situation.

Fifty-five percent of interviewees in Argentina said the country is heading in the right direction, a jump of 11 points from the previous month. However, people are still worried about crime, unemployment, inflation, poverty and social inequality.  

Crime and violence is the number one worry in Argentina and it ranks high in the other Latin American countries included in the survey too: Mexico, Peru and Brazil. It’s been the country’s main concern since the turn of the century, peaking at over 77 percent in 2009 and 2010.

Unemployment is still the primary global worry, with the highest levels of concern in Italy (65 percent), Spain (62 percent) and Serbia (58 percent). Reflecting previous months, Germany is the least worried about joblessness, with only 12 percent citing it as a concern. In contrast, 45 percent of Argentines are concerned about unemployment.

Over the past year, we’ve seen how the news impacts upon our surveys. Ipsos’ monthly polling has seen spikes on major issues ¬– such as the teachers’ collective  bargaining, when education peaked as the top priority, and later on, the layoffs in PepsiCo prompted concerns about unemployment and jobs. Although financial and political corruption has been in and out of the top five concerns, it has never had a strong correlation with vote intentions or presidential approval. Thirty- six percent of interviewees claim to be worried about corruption in the latest wave of the survey. In Brazil, where the ever-expanding Car Wash investigation has drawn multiple headlines, corruption has topped the country’s list ever since the beginning of the year.

For Argentines, when it comes to corruption in the political system, the justice system is as much to blame as anybody else. Another recent Ipsos poll showed the courts have a significantly lower satisfaction rate than the Executive and Legislative branches of power, and that disparity has steadily expanded over time. This may serve as a wake-up call for the Judiciary amid controversy over the way the Santiago Maldonado case has been handled and the sudden advancements in court cases involving prominent figures from the previous administration.

About the poll: the results cited above come from monthly survey conducted by Ipsos in 26 countries around the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Britain, France and the United States. An international sample of 21,044 adults aged 16-64 were interviewed online in September and weighting was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects the make-up of the adult population.

Brenda Lynch is the Communications Manager for IPSOS Argentina.

Brenda Lynch, Communications manager at IPSOS Argentina. On Twitter: @bren_lw

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