UAE Consumer Confidence Increased Three Index Points
Dubai – October 29, 2014 – UAE consumer confidence edged up three index points from the second quarter to a score of 112 and had the fifth-highest scores of the 60 countries measured. Regional Consumer Confidence also increased (96) as well as all five countries measured in the Middle East/Africa region in the third quarter. United Arab Emirates reported the highest consumer confidence in the region, followed by Saudi Arabia where the Consumer Confidence index increased three points to 105, four points in Pakistan to 103, four points in Egypt to 85 and one point in South Africa to 86.
“Consumers in the United Arab Emirates continue to be bullish about future economic prospects,” said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula. “Despite the fact that rising rents are driving inflation north and consumers are mitigating risk via savings, they are still upbeat about future job prospects.”
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively. The latest results reflect an outlook of cautious optimism, as every region’s consumer confidence score improved compared to the previous quarter.
JOB PROSPECTS IMPROVE FASTER THAN PERSONAL FINANCES
Almost three-quarter of UAE respondents (73%) believed the job market would be good or excellent in the next 12 months, a 5 percentage-point increase from the second quarter. While perceptions of personal finances have become more positive, UAE consumers’ overall sentiment about personal finances has not improved as significantly as their sentiment about their employment opportunities. Sixty-four percent of UAE respondents rated their personal finances as good or excellent for the upcoming year, compared to 60% in the previous quarter.
DISCRETIONARY SPENDING INTENTIONS REMAIN STABLE
Only sixty-five percent of UAE respondents believed their country was in recession in the third quarter. In addition, quarter-on-quarter discretionary spending intentions increased 6 percentage points in the third quarter for plans to save (52%), followed by 5 percentage-points gains for investing in stock/mutual funds (15%) and for saving for retirement (14%). One-fourth intends paying off debts/credit cards/loans (25%) which represents an increase of 1 percentage point vs Q2 2014. Thirteen percent of UAE respondents said they had no spare cash, a decline of 4 percentage points from the second quarter.
CONCERNS ABOUT JOB SECURITY IN UAE INCRESE
In the Middle East/Africa regions, job security was the biggest or second biggest concern for 29% of respondents, respectively, a decline of 2 percentage points, from the second quarter. Worries about the economy, however, increased 2 percentage points in the Middle East/Africa (to 22%). In the UAE, 38% of respondents said job security was their biggest or second biggest concern for the next six months, an increase of 7 percentage points from the previous quarter, followed by concerns about parent’s welfare and happiness which rose 1 percentage point to 20%.
ABOUT THE NIELSEN GLOBAL SURVEY
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Aug. 13–Sept. 5, 2014 and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.
Nielsen N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
 While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.