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The Recession is Still Lingering for 75% in the Middle East/Africa
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The Recession is Still Lingering for 75% in the Middle East/Africa

Consumer confidence in the Middle East/Africa region declined 2 index points in the fourth quarter of 2013, reporting a score of 90, according to Nielsen’s latest Global Survey of Consumer Confidence. Egypt reported the most drastic decline in the region of 7 index points to 76, a shift that reversed a 6-point index gain in Q3. Oil-rich nations like United Arab Emirates (110) and Saudi Arabia (101) were the most confident in the region. Confidence in South Africa posted a two-point quarterly increase to 86 and Pakistan held steady at 97.

Three-fourths of regional respondents believed they were in a recession in the fourth quarter, a figure that topped the level reported in any other region. The pessimistic sentiment was up 1 percentage point from Q3 and 2 points from the same time period the previous year (Q4 2012). Respondents in Egypt (86%) and Pakistan (82%) reported the highest levels of recessionary sentiment. Conversely, respondents in United Arab Emirates (44%) and Saudi Arabia (51%) reported the lowest recessionary sentiment in the region. South Africa posted a double-digit recessionary-sentiment improvement of 67 percent, down from 77 percent in Q3.

Discretionary spending intentions decreased across the region for all categories measured in the fourth quarter. Spending on new clothes (23%), out-of-home entertainment (18%) and holidays/vacations (13%) declined 4 percentage points each. Declining 2 percentage points each from Q3 were spending intentions for new technology (17%) and home improvement projects (14%). Sentiment regarding investing in shares of stocks (8%) and saving for retirement (4%) also declined by 2 percentage points each, while one-fourth of respondents said they had no spare cash, an increase of 3 percentage points from Q3.

The report also discusses:

  • Global consumer confidence in Q4 2013 and outlook for 2014.
  • A regional review of consumer confidence around the world.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q4 2013 Global Consumer Confidence Report.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Nov. 11-29, 2013 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 their Internet users, and 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 10 million 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.