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UAE Consumer Confidence Continued the Positive Momentum with an Index Score of 118

Dubai, UAE, May 14 – United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported a significant improvement in consumer confidence with an index of 118 in the fourth quarter of 2017, which is a six-point increase from the previous quarter and a 10-point increase from the same period in 2016 — the highest in the region and ranked fifth globally.

According to the fourth-quarter 2017 Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey (TCB Global CCS), which is produced in collaboration with Nielsen, the gain in confidence from the third quarter was driven by improvements in perception of personal finances and immediate-spending intentions. In the UAE, respondents were optimistic about their personal finances, with 65% believing they would be good or excellent in the next 12 months, an increase of one percentage point from the third quarter of 2017. More than half of the respondents were confident about immediate-spending intentions (55%), an increase of three percentage points from the previous quarter. The perception of job prospects however, dipped slightly with the share of respondents who think job prospects will be good or excellent over the next 12 months declined from 66% in Q3 to 64% in Q4.

The percentage of respondents who cited the economy as a leading concern increased one percentage point while concerns over job security declined in Q4 by six percentage points from the previous quarter.

“The economy is showing early signs of renewal as growth marginally picks up, with firming oil prices, an increase in infrastructure development and easing fiscal adjustment due to new revenue streams. This is reflected in the positive momentum of consumer confidence level in the country throughout 2017,” said Arslan Ashraf, Managing Director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan. “However, the current taxation environment, which is entirely new to the majority of UAE consumers, has also led to added levels of anxiety around price changes. FMCG manufacturers need to carefully monitor consumer actions, as consumers can become less brand loyal as they search for more bargains. There is scope for portfolio optimization in order to have the right product price mix to win in the marketplace.”

Regional Highlights:

Africa / Middle East saw the greatest change globally, with the region’s consumer confidence index rising three points to a score of 92, but it remains below the global average. Five out of six Africa / Middle East markets showed consumer confidence gains from the previous quarter. It declined only in one market: South Africa and currently sits at an all-time high in Pakistan. Saudi Arabia (99) posted a consumer confidence increase of six points, Egypt (84) saw an increase of three points while consumer confidence reported a significant improvement in Morocco (81), up nine points in the fourth quarter of 2017. In the Africa / Middle East region, countries that posted scores above the optimism baseline of 100 include United Arab Emirates (118) and Pakistan (113).

For more detail and insight, download the full Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence report here.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE BOARD® GLOBAL CONSUMER CONFIDENCE SURVEY

The Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey is conducted in collaboration with Nielsen. It was conducted November 8 through November 23, 2017 and polled more than 32,000 online consumers in 64 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample includes internet users who agreed to participate in this survey and has quotas based on age and sex for each country. It is weighted to be representative of internet consumers by country. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. However, a probability sample of equivalent size would have a margin of error of ±0.6% at the global level. This survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. The Conference Board uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The Nielsen China Consumer Confidence Index is sourced from a separate survey conducted by Nielsen China, which is based on a mixed methodology survey of more than 3,000 respondents in China. The Global Consumer Confidence Survey was established in 2005.

ABOUT NIELSEN

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. The Company’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Nielsen Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.