United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported a significant improvement in consumer confidence with an index of 118 in the fourth quarter of 2017, which is a six-point increase from the previous quarter and a 10-point increase from the same period in 2016 — the highest in the region and ranked fifth globally.
According to the fourth-quarter 2017 Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey (TCB Global CCS), which is produced in collaboration with Nielsen, the gain in confidence from the third quarter was driven by improvements in perception of personal finances and immediate-spending intentions. In the UAE, respondents were optimistic about their personal finances, with 65% believing they would be good or excellent in the next 12 months, an increase of one percentage point from the third quarter of 2017. More than half of the respondents were confident about immediate-spending intentions (55%), an increase of three percentage points from the previous quarter. The perception of job prospects however, dipped slightly with the share of respondents who think job prospects will be good or excellent over the next 12 months declined from 66% in Q3 to 64% in Q4.
The percentage of respondents who cited the economy as a leading concern increased one percentage point while concerns over job security declined in Q4 by six percentage points from the previous quarter.
“The economy is showing early signs of renewal as growth marginally picks up, with firming oil prices, an increase in infrastructure development and easing fiscal adjustment due to new revenue streams. This is reflected in the positive momentum of consumer confidence level in the country throughout 2017,” said Arslan Ashraf, Managing Director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan. “However, the current taxation environment, which is entirely new to the majority of UAE consumers, has also led to added levels of anxiety around price changes. FMCG manufacturers need to carefully monitor consumer actions, as consumers can become less brand loyal as they search for more bargains. There is scope for portfolio optimization in order to have the right product price mix to win in the marketplace.”
Africa / Middle East saw the greatest change globally, with the region’s consumer confidence index rising three points to a score of 92, but it remains below the global average. Five out of six Africa / Middle East markets showed consumer confidence gains from the previous quarter. It declined only in one market: South Africa and currently sits at an all-time high in Pakistan. Saudi Arabia (99) posted a consumer confidence increase of six points, Egypt (84) saw an increase of three points while consumer confidence reported a significant improvement in Morocco (81), up nine points in the fourth quarter of 2017. In the Africa / Middle East region, countries that posted scores above the optimism baseline of 100 include United Arab Emirates (118) and Pakistan (113).
- Global Highlights:
The Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Index (the “TCB Global CCI”) score maintains at 105 in Q4 2017, which is nearly the highest on record and four points higher than the fourth quarter of previous year.
- Globally, 51 markets ends 2017 with higher confidence than the end of 2016, in which 46 of those markets reported gain larger than two points.
- TCB Global CCI in North America decreased slightly from the last quarter (119) to an index score of 117, which is the highest score of any region.
- TCB Global CCI in Europe remained at 87 in the fourth quarter of 2017, and increase of six points from 81 to end of 2016.
- While the TCB Global CCI in Asia-Pacific region held steady throughout 2017, it ended Q4 at an index of 114, which is a one point decrease from the previous quarter.
- In Latin America, TCB Global CCI was down one point from the previous quarter, finishing the year at 87.
- TCB Global CCI in Africa / Middle East ended 2017 with the greatest change in confidence levels, with the index rising three points to a score of 92 from 89 in the third quarter.