United Arab Emirates (UAE) consumer confidence decreased one point to a score of 107 from the second quarter—the second consecutive quarter of declines and the lowest score for the country since 2013. 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 61 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively. The global survey was fielded August10 – September 4, 2015.
“UAE’s economy is showing signs of softening,” said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula. “Lower oil prices and weaker macroeconomic fundamentals regionally as well as globally have impacted the sentiments of UAE’s consumer confidence.”
In the UAE, sentiment about job prospects increased three percentage points to 65%, while personal finances sentiment and immediate spending intentions decreased four percentage points to 60% and four percentage points to 43%, respectively, from second-quarter 2015. Recessionary increased to 43%, up from 41% the previous quarter.
UAE discretionary purchase intentions high on the priority shopping list included paying off debts / credit cards / loans (26%), spending on holidays and vacation (26%), new clothes (23%) as well as out-of-home entertainment (20%). Almost half of UAE respondents (44%) planned to save their spare cash, a decrease from 48% in the second quarter. UAE saving intentions, on the other hand, showed a slight decrease of two percentage points for investing in stocks and mutual funds (14%) as well as one percentage point for retirement savings (13%) from second-quarter 2015. 13% of UAE respondents said they had no spare cash, down from 14% the previous quarter.
Regionally, consumer confidence decreased in three of five countries measured in the Middle East/Africa region but increased four points in Saudi Arabia (109) and five points in Egypt (90) in the second quarter. It decreased as before mentioned one point in the United Arab Emirates (107) from the second quarter. Confidence declined five points in South Africa to 82 and one point in Pakistan to 101. Morocco marked its first introduction to the Nielsen’s consumer confidence survey in the third quarter with a score of 85.