Confidence in Egypt increased most in the Middle East / Africa region, rising 11 index points in the first quarter to an index of 87 — the highest score since 2012, according to consumer confidence findings from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. The Egyptian index represents not only an eleven-point increase from Q4 2013 but also a thirteen-point increase from a year ago (Q1 2013).
In Middle East / Africa, the United Arab Emirates (114) and Saudi Arabia (102) reported the highest consumer confidence scores in the region, increasing four and one index points, respectively, compared to fourth-quarter 2013. Pakistan increased two index points to 99, and South Africa posted the only regional confidence decline of four index points to 82.
“Nielsen measures consumer confidence not only because it is a key indicator of the progress of the country’s conditions, but also because it in turn provides businesses with the confidence that they are set on the right track,” noted Tamer El Araby, Managing Director of Nielsen Egypt & Levant. “The latest report reveals that with the extra confidence in spending the highest benefitting industries are banking, apparels, technology, and leisure services.”
Egyptian Job Outlook Improves
Positive perceptions about local job prospects over the next 12 months increased in the first quarter in the Middle East / Africa region by one percentage point up to 40 percent. 34 percent of Egyptian respondents believed the job market would be good or excellent in the upcoming year, a quarterly increase of 7 percentage points
More than half (56%) of Middle East / Africa respondents regarded their personal finances positively, a level that has increased in the last quarter. In Egypt, respondents were also secure in money matters, with 53 percent, believing the state of their finances were good or excellent.
Recessionary Sentiment Lingers
Almost three quarters of Middle East / Africa respondents (73%) said they felt the effects of recession in the first quarter, but the sentiment was improved compared to 75 percent in the previous quarter. Recessionary sentiment improved also slightly in Egypt, down 1 percentage point to 85 Percent.
Other Consumer Confidence Index Results
Regional consumer confidence was highest in Asia-Pacific with an index of 106, a one-point increase from the previous quarter (Q4 2013) and a three-point increase from a year ago (Q1 2013). North America posted the largest quarterly increase of five index points to reach the optimism baseline of 100—the highest level since 2007. The Middle East / Africa region increased four index points to 94, and Europe increased two index points to 75, compared to Q4 2013. Latin America reported the only quarterly regional consumer confidence decline of one index point to 93.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns, and 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. In the latest round of the survey, conducted February 17 – March 7, 2014, consumer confidence increased in 60 percent of markets measured by Nielsen—up from 43 percent the previous quarter (Q4 2013).
About the Nielsen Global Survey
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Feb. 17 – March 7, 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, is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60-percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.
Nielsen Holdings 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.