The latest results from the recent Consumer Confidence Index survey carried out by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one job site, and research and consulting organisation, YouGov, shows that UAE residents still have a positive outlook of the country’s economy, as well as their financial future despite moving down the consumer confidence index by 1.3 points. The survey revealed that 62% feel that the current salary is not in line with the cost of living, with 33% stating buying consumer durables is not practical in the present situation.
According to the quarterly MENA Consumer Confidence Index survey by Bayt.com, prospects for the future appear quite positive from the Dubai and Abu Dhabi survey takers, with 54% believing that their financial position will improve in a year’s time, while a good 16% claim it will stay the same and only 8% believe it will get worse. In parallel, 46% of UAE respondents expect that the UAE’s economy will get better within the same time frame. However, this claim won’t essentially mean an increase in the number of jobs. Only 35% of UAE respondents think there will be more jobs available in a year’s time, while 51% feel there will be either no change or fewer jobs.
Similarly, 26% seem pessimistic towards the possibility of increase in their organisation’s employee-count in the coming quarter, while only 21% felt the opposite and believe that there will be a positive growth, and a good 36% share a neutral outlook on the same. Likewise, companies addressing staffing requirements in the coming three months show that 38% of UAE survey takers are neutral, with 18% who seem optimistic and less than one-third (28%) appear quite pessimistic.
“While a certain number of countries witnessed a drop in their Consumer Confidence Index since last quarter, the region’s overall sentiment towards the future remains positive. It will be interesting to see if the region can slowly, but surely reach a long-term period of true stability in the near future,” explained Amer Zureikat, VP Sales at Bayt.com.
With regards the respondents’ present situation in the UAE, 39% have experienced no change, and the financial situation is worse for 29% of survey-takers, while only 26% have had an improved financial position in comparison to the previous year.The survey’s respondents also remain doubtful on the current attitude towards purchasing of consumer durable goods, with 33% of UAE respondents saying ‘now is a bad time to buy. Only 17% believe that this is a good time to buy, while a whopping 42% stay neutral. Additionally, with 66% of UAE residents opting to shy away from investments in property and 54% from purchasing a car in the next 12 months, only a mere 18% will look into investing in properties and 33% in a car. From those who are willing to do such investments in a year’s time, 73% said they will be buying a ‘new’ property and 52% a ‘new’ car, while 42% said they will opt for a used one.
“We conduct our quarterly Middle East Consumer Confidence Index Survey in order to chart how consumer confidence levels are changing as the region goes through different economic cycles, and faces the challenges and pressures wrought by economic trends and events across the globe. This seeks to provide all stakeholders, from regional businesses to local organisations and HR professionals with up-to-date information that is both relevant and reliable as a snapshot of current market trends,” added Zureikat.
When it comes to employment, only 16% of UAE respondents appear to be highly satisfied with their career prospects, while 43% have neutral sentiments, and 35% are displeased. Correspondingly, only 17% appear to be highly satisfied with their career growth in their current organisation, while 39% seem unhappy and 41% are neutral.
“Gauging consumer opinion is a powerful tool for revealing the current attitudes and sentiments about the business and economic conditions in a specific country, and to see how these change overtime,” commented Sundip Chahal, Chief Operating Officer of YouGov.
Data from the Consumer Confidence Index survey shows that feelings towards the level of job security in the UAE are relatively balanced with 24% saying they are highly satisfied, while 40% have neutral feelings towards their job security; and 30% being unsatisfied.
Data for the quarterly Bayt.com Consumer Confidence Index (September 2011) survey was collected online from 24th August to 20th September 2011, with 7,864 respondents from the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Pakistan. Males and females aged over 18 years old, of all nationalities, were included in the survey.