UAE Consumer Confidence Took a Slight Dip in Q3 of 2016

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) consumer confidence declined by one point from the previous quarter to a score of 108, according to consumer confidence findings from Nielsen.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions findings showed the number of respondents from the UAE who view their personal financial situation as good or excellent decreased four percentage points to 64% quarter-on-quarter, while positive outlook on job prospects remained flat at 64% over the same period. Less than half of UAE respondents (46%) believe the next 12 months will be a good time to buy the things they want and need, down from 48% in Q2 2016.

Job security remains the biggest or second-biggest concern for 47% of UAE respondents, an increase of one percentage point from the second quarter. Job concerns were followed by worries about the economy (21%) and children’s education and welfare (16%); with increases of one percentage point and three percentage points respectively from the second quarter. Worry about work/life balance (18%) was up two percentage points from the second quarter, and concern about parents’ welfare and happiness (16%) was down four percentage point.

“Despite the slowdown in growth, the UAE has proven to be fairly resilient to the recent economic headwinds triggered by low oil prices, due to its relatively diversified economy compared to that of neighboring Gulf countries. The UAE has maintained indexes above optimism baseline for at least the past 8 quarters and is amongst the 16 countries globally to reach or exceed the optimism benchmark,” said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan. “While the findings from the survey show that consumer continue to be prudent with their expenses, it is also important to note that consumer lifestyle and consumption patterns do not change overnight, but it is a gradual phenomenon.”

Established in 2005, the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index is fielded quarterly in 63 countries to measure the perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances, immediate spending intentions and related economic issues of real consumers around the world. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.

GLOBAL CONSUMER CONFIDENCE SCORES REFLECT ECONOMIC DIVERSITY AROUND THE WORLD

These are uncertain times and third quarter Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index scores varied dramatically region to region, demonstrating considerable economic diversity around the world. In Asia-Pacific, consumer confidence scores ranged from a high of 133 to a low of 46, with similar divergent scores in Europe (from 107 to 50), Latin America (from 104 to 57) and Africa/Middle East (from 108 to 70). In North America, however, confidence scores were more closely aligned in the U.S. (106) and Canada (97).

Notable global highlights include:

  • Global consumer confidence increased one point from the second quarter to a score of 99.
  • Confidence gains were seen throughout most measured markets in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Europe. Meanwhile, confidence decreased in four of six Africa/Middle East markets and in one of two North American markets.
  • Five of the world’s top 10 economies posted optimistic scores of 100 or higher: U.S. (106), China (106), U.K. (106), Germany (100) and India (133).
  • Concerns about terrorism increased across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific in the third quarter.
  • In Europe, consumer confidence improved in 26 of 34 measured markets from the second quarter. The U.K.’s score increased eight points.
  • In Asia-Pacific, confidence increased in 10 of 14 countries, while four markets were flat from the second quarter. Robust improvements came from Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.
  • In Latin America, confidence increased in six of seven markets, including Brazil, which posted its first upswing in two years.
  • In the Africa/Middle East region, South Africa posted a solid confidence increase of nine points.    

CONFIDENCE DECLINED IN FOUR OF SIX AFRICA/MIDDLES EAST MARKETS

In the six Africa/Middle East countries measured, confidence scores ranged from a high of 108 in the United Arab Emirates (a one-point decrease from the second quarter) to a low of 70 in Egypt (an 11-point decrease). Pakistan (101) and Saudi Arabia (100) posted confidence scores at or just above the optimism baseline despite declines of three and four points, respectively, from the second quarter. The most robust confidence increase in the region came from South Africa with a nine-point rise to 87. Morocco’s confidence also increased, rising six points to 89 in the third quarter.

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