UAE Consumer Confidence Remains High, Declines in Q1 2016

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CORONAVIRUS IMPACT

Consumer confidence in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) remained at an optimistic, above-the-baseline score of 104, but declined four-points from the previous quarter. Interestingly, confidence in neighboring KSA reported a consumer confidence decline of two points, matching the UAE score.

“The decline in oil prices is likely taking a toll on consumer sentiment in the UAE, which has dropped to the lowest level in six years,” said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan. “One in every two respondents believed the economy was in recession, and job security was the biggest concern. Many in the country said they are cutting back spending on entertainment, new electronic gadgets and new clothes, utilizing these funds on settling their financial liabilities or saving for a rainy day instead. In spite of depressed consumer sentiments which are prevailing since last year, it is important to note that UAE consumers are still upbeat about economic outlook on the long term horizon. UAE consumer confidence score, at the current level, is amongst the top ten countries globally. Moreover sales of the retail fast-moving consumer goods, as measured by Nielsen, are also showing growth.”

Around the world

Global consumer confidence remained stable in the first quarter and below the optimism baseline score of 100, edging up one index point to 98. The score reflected mixed confidence levels in every region. In the latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, consumer confidence increased in 33% of measured markets (20 of 61 markets), compared to 43% of measured markets showing an increase in the fourth quarter of 2015. The Nielsen consumer confidence index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions.

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