UAE Consumer Confidence at 108: Highest in Middle East

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  • Middle East / Africa confidence declined two points to 94, as spending and personal finance sentiment dropped.

UAE Consumer Confidence declined seven index points in the second quarter to a score of 108, according to the latest Nielsen’s Consumer Confidence Index Report. The Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries. The global survey was fielded May 11-29, 2015.

In UAE, sentiment for the three economic indicators decreased, as future job prospects declined four percentage points to 62%, personal finances sentiment decreased three percentage points to 64%, and immediate spending intentions declined 3 percentage points to 47%. 41% of UAE respondents believe they are in recession, as the sentiment increased two percentage points from the first quarter.

Most UAE respondents are in a saving – rather than a spending – mindset as more than two-thirds (70%) say they are actively taking action to save on household expenses compared to a year ago. Among those who say they are taking actions to save, the top two areas earmarked for reduction are spending on clothing (50%) and spending less on take-out meals (46%).

The fear of losing a job (26%) is top concern in UAE. Furthermore, parent’s welfare and happiness (11%) is also a key issue as well as worries about the state of the economy and a balanced work / life style (both 9%).

“In the United Arab Emirates, job security concerns are amplifying as lower oil prices can fuel expectations of government spending cuts,” said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula. “Additionally, two key sectors of the economy — real estate and tourism — are showing signs of softening. As such, consumers are saving more and spending less, intending to pull back spending on new clothes, out-of-home entertainment and home improvements expenses.”

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