UAE tops con­sumer con­fi­dence in Middle East

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

UAE led the way for Middle East and Africa (MEA) con­sumer con­fi­dence with an in­dex of 108, a rise of one point from third-quar­ter 2015, ac­cord­ing to con­sumer con­fi­dence find­ings from Nielsen.

Con­fi­dence de­clined over the pre­vi­ous quar­ter in the over­all Middle East and Africa re­gion (90), de­creas­ing six points. Among the re­gion, Egypt (77) re­ported a drop of thir­teen points com­pared to the third quar­ter, and Saudi Ara­bia a de­cline of three points to reach a score of 106. Pak­istan posted the only re­gional con­fi­dence in­crease other than UAE, climb­ing two points to 103, and con­fi­dence held steady in South Africa (82) and Morocco (85).

"Though Oil prices are on con­tin­u­ous down­ward streak for more than a year, nev­er­the­less con­sumers in UAE are op­ti­mistic that coun­try will ben­e­fit from lift­ing of sanc­tions in the re­gion and play as a bridge for in­vestors plan­ning to en­ter newly opened mar­kets" said Arslan Ashraf, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, and Nielsen Ara­bian Penin­sula. More­over govern­ment's abil­ity to con­tinue to in­vest in crit­i­cal sec­tors of econ­omy has also given boost to con­sumer con­fi­dence.

The Nielsen Global Sur­vey of Con­sumer Con­fi­dence and Spend­ing In­ten­tions, es­tab­lished in 2005, mea­sures con­sumer con­fi­dence, ma­jor con­cerns, and spend­ing in­ten­tions among more than 30,000 re­spon­dents with In­ter­net ac­cess in 60 coun­tries. Con­sumer con­fi­dence lev­els above and below a base­line of 100 in­di­cate de­grees of op­ti­mism and pes­simism.

Per­cep­tions about the state of per­sonal fi­nances amongst UAE re­spon­dents was pos­i­tively im­pacted, go­ing up 3 points to reach 63 per cent, de­spite out­look on lo­cal job prospects hav­ing de­clined. Amongst UAE re­spon­dents, only 58 per cent are op­ti­mistic about the state of job prospects, a 7 point de­cline from the third quar­ter. Mean­while, the no­tion mak­ing in­vest­ments and pur­chases in the re­cent fu­ture (12 months) saw a slight in­crease in op­ti­mism, go­ing up to 2 points to reach 45 per cent.

Re­ces­sion­ary sen­ti­ment re­ceded in the re­gion, where the per­cent­age of re­spon­dents who be­lieved they were in re­ces­sion in­creased from 60 per­cent in the third quar­ter 2015 to 70 per cent. 53 per cent of UAE re­spon­dents be­lieved they were in a re­ces­sion, a ten point in­crease from the pre­vi­ous quar­ter. Global con­sumer con­fi­dence ended 2015 on a sub­dued note as the in­dex de­clined two points from the third quar­ter to 97-the same score as the start of the year.

Com­pared to first-quar­ter 2015, con­fi­dence in the fourth quar­ter re­mained flat in Asia-Pa­cific at 107, while Europe edged up four points to 81. All other re­gions ended the year less con­fi­dent than they started, with the North Amer­ica and Middle East & Africa re­gions de­clin­ing six points each to 100 and 90, re­spec­tively, and Latin Amer­ica de­clin­ing three points to 83.

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