Indians’ approval of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and their satisfaction with the country’s direction and the state of its economy have grown in recent years, a new Pew Research Centre report finds.

Pew Research Centre is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

Three years into Mr Modi’s five-year tenure, nearly nine-in-ten Indians hold a favourable opinion of the prime minister, comparable to their view of him in 2015, after a year in office.

Roughly seven-in-ten say they have a very favourable view of Modi, again similar to public views in 2015.

Mr Modi remains by far the most popular national figure in Indian politics tested in the survey.

His favourable rating is 31 percentage points higher than that of Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Indian National Congress party, and is 30 points more than that for Rahul Gandhi, who led the Congress ticket in the last Lok Sabha election.

The public’s positive assessment of Mr Modi is buoyed by growing contentment with the Indian economy. More than eight-in-ten say economic conditions are good, up 19 percentage points since immediately before the 2014 election.

And the share of adults who say the economy is very good (30 per cent) has tripled in the past three years.

Indians’ have a positive view of America

About half of Indian adults hold a favourable view of the United States, down 21 percentage points since 2015.

Only 40 per cent expressed confidence in American President Donald Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs, down 34 points from their faith in his predecessor, Barack Obama, in 2015.

Both declines began in the last year of the Obama administration and continued in 2017.

The falloff in support for the U.S. has been greatest among Congress Party supporters. The decline in confidence in the U.S. president has been roughly comparable among both BJP and Congress adherents.

 At the same time, Indian assessment of Americans (56 per cent) remains positive and largely unchanged since the last time this question was asked.

Indians’ view of the world

Indian views of the U.S. are comparable with those in Indonesia (48 per cent) and Australia (48 per cent), but far less favourable than those in Vietnam (84 per cent) or the Philippines (78 per cent). 

There has been a similar, if less precipitate, decline in favourable public views of China. Indian opinion of China has soured by 15 points since 2015, with 26 per cent expressing a favourable view in 2017. Indian confidence in Chinese President Xi Jinping is low (21 per cent), down from 2015 but up from that in 2016.

Overall, seven-in-ten Indians are now satisfied with the way things are going in the country. This positive assessment of India’s direction has nearly doubled since 2014.