ESOMAR’s Global Market Research 2022 report witnessed how these two regions, which saw their turnover drop over -10% in net terms during 2020, continued in their struggle to absorb the negative shock during 2021 and presented an overall flat behaviour for the year. Positive absolute growth of +5.4% turned into a negative -3.8% after factoring in inflation.
As happens with some countries in the Latin American region (also covered in Research World), a tardier recovery only adds to the differences in development that exist between these and other regions, which have already managed to reverse the negative impact of the pandemic successfully. Thankfully, the net growth in 2022 is expected to bring the turnover of the insights industry in these regions closer to a combined US$ 5 billion.
The impact of inflation
Whether it is due to high levels of inflation or other economic, social or political factors, these regions were the only ones with countries declaring substantial drops in their industrial output during 2021 (the latest full fiscal year recorded).
Examples are Sudan, where the staggering inflation (almost 360%) turned an absolute growth rate of over +150% to -44% in net terms, and Lebanon, where the same phenomenon managed to turn an absolute growth rate of +28% to a net one of -60.5%, or Iran where an absolute growth rate of almost +29% falls to a level of -8% in net terms.
Only Egypt reached a level of industrial output above that of 2019. The remaining countries with available data remain at lower levels and may require some time to pull the industry out of the pandemic pit. Recovery, however, is expected to be erratic.