Consumer confidence around the world has been falling as the ongoing recession is causing more people to worry about their jobs and cut household spending. And although residents of the United Arab Emirates share those concerns, they rank in the top ten of the most optimistic countries of the 52 studied by Nielsen. The UAE scored a confidence level of 89, compared with other regional neighbors such as Saudi Arabia (79) and Egypt (74). Globally, Indonesian consumers were the most confident, with a score of 104, followed by the Danes (102) and Indians (99).
"Job security is the biggest concern for UAE consumers. However, despite uncertainty levels tripling over the last six months, we are still among the top 10 countries with a comparatively higher perception of local job prospects. More than one in three UAE consumers perceives their prospects as good or excellent over the next 12 months," said Piyush Mathur, regional managing director, Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan at Nielsen.
In comparison, about a quarter of global consumers described their job prospects as bad in the coming year, with Latvians being particularly pessimistic - 78 percent responded negatively.
"Job concerns reflect in consumer spending habits. For instance, consumers in the UAE are now tending to keep their spare cash in savings and using it to pay off their debts. They are controlling discretionary spending, especially on clothing, entertainment outside the home and technology upgrades," said Mathur.