Consumer confidence rising further during last quarter of 2011
- Personal finance looks strong with 79% consumers having a positive outlook; majority optimistic on improvement in job prospects
The overall consumer confidence index in Dubai increased 15 points to 125 over the last quarter of 2011 compared to the third quarter, according to the quarterly Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) of the Department of Economic Development (DED).
The CCI is based on consumer responses to three questions regarding perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and suitability of making purchases, all over the next 12 months. The initiative aims to evaluate consumer impressions on the state of the economy and the key drivers of consumer behaviour.
The number of consumers optimistic of an economic recovery over the next 12 months increased by 22% in Q4 compared to Q3, while 79% of consumers had a positive outlook on personal finance, and 70% see the job situation improving over the same period.
Perceptions on the state of economy also show a clear improvement during Q4 with more than 60% of the consumers expressed confidence over the state of economy. Public sector employees are more positive about job prospects and personal finance and two third of the consumers feel that this is a good time to buy things they want and need.
The economy and increasing food prices are the topmost concerns for consumers, while increasing utility bills and job security come next in that order.
“DED is keen to provide all the necessary indicators and field studies to monitor consumer confidence in line with the aspirations of the Government of Dubai to raise the level of services in the emirate, in addition to boosting the economy and trade in Dubai in particular and the UAE in general,” said His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED.
“The CCI is intended to provide a realistic assessment of consumer perceptions on economic changes as well as their future intentions and expectations. A clear understanding of consumer response to economic conditions and their expectations will help governments and business owners in economic planning and decision-making as well as in enhancing transparency and overall business competitiveness in Dubai” added Al Qamzi.
Omar Bushahab, CEO of the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division, DED, stated that the Division is keen to develop mechanisms to promote and enhance its activities relating to consumer protection and commercial compliance of companies and businesses in line with growing volume of consumer products in the emirate of Dubai. He also noted that the Consumer Confidence Index will provide consumers, businesses, and policy-makers with a clear template to balance trends, drivers, and outcomes of consumer spending.
“The Index showed that 41% of consumers tend to spend on buying new clothes and on outdoor entertainment. A 13% increase is also seen in the number of consumers spending on new products and technology compared to the third quarter of 2011. Interestingly, majority of consumers tend to reduce phone and energy bills as part of their plans for 2012,” added Bushahab.
The Q4 Consumer Confidence Index process targeted different categories of consumers, including 70% males and 30% females, residing across 35 areas in Dubai and aged between 20 and 59. Citizens as well as Arab, Asian and Western expatriates doing diverse jobs in the private, public sectors and semi-government were included in the process.
Mohammed Lootah, Deputy CEO of the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division, said: “The quarterly Consumer Confidence Index will help retailers, banks, construction companies, and other critical players in Dubai’s economy to plan ahead and retain the flexibility to adapt to changes in economic conditions and consumer sentiment. Consumer confidence is a clear indicator of business competitiveness and follows on from the knowledge that the rights of the consumer are guaranteed and protected by law.”
The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division of DED developed and conducted the quarterly consumer confidence surveys in co-operation with a global market research firm to ensure best practices and utmost efficiency in providing critical insights to governments and organisations on consumer perceptions and trends influencing economic activity.