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East African Consumer Confidence On The Backfoot

Kenyan Consumer Confidence drops 10 points
Less positive outlook for immediate-spending intentions

Nairobi- December 06, 2018 – Kenya’s latest Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) score for Quarter 3, 2018 has dropped a steep 10 points, since the previous quarter, to 94, revealing a volatile consumer mindset and underlying uncertainties.

Nielsen Sub-Sahara Africa MD Bryan Sun comments; “Consumer confidence was upbeat at the beginning of the year. This was due to the political situation settling down, GDP strengthening and the country emerging out of a period of drought. However, since no major impact has been felt on ground, consumers are readjusting their expectations. This, coupled with the recent increase in fuel prices, led to a surge in the cost of consumable commodities and the prolonged cold season affected the agricultural sector and led to price increases for certain items. As a result, consumer spending power has weakened with a resultant dampening of overall consumer sentiment.”

This subdued sentiment is reflected in 58% of Kenyans describing the state of their personal finances over the next year as excellent or good – down by 11 points from Q2’18 – and 37% as not so good or bad, up from 23% in the previous quarter. There is also a less positive outlook in terms of Kenyan consumers immediate-spending intentions, which has fallen to 22% of respondents (down from 31% in Q2) who say now is a good or excellent time to purchase what they need or want.

The view around job prospects has remained stable with the same number as the previous quarter (44%) viewing them as excellent or good and almost half (49%) considering them as not so good or bad.

Spare cash?

Looking at whether Kenyans have spare cash to spend, only 33% said yes, although this is up from the previous quarter (29%), while the majority (67%) said no. Looking at what their spending priorities are once they meet their essential living expenses, the highest percentage (85%) would spend it on home improvements, followed by putting it into savings (79%) and investing in shares and mutual funds (74%).

Healthcare concerns have come to the fore with 60% saying they would spend their spare cash on paying medical insurance premiums. Personal needs and wants have become secondary choices, with only 49% saying they would spend their spare cash on new clothes and 48% on out of home entertainment.

Elaborating on these results, Sun says, “We see the return of a cautious mindset. Kenyan consumers agree to having more spare cash compared to the last quarter but their willingness to spend has declined. This happens when consumers are uncertain of the future. In such times, only those who provide true value and full worth for the consumer’s spend will succeed.” 

ABOUT THE CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AND SPENDING INTENTIONS SURVEY

The Nielsen Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions survey was conducted in August 2018 in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria among 1 500 respondents, using mobile methodology. The sample has quotas based on age and gender for each country.

ABOUT NIELSEN

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

CONTACT: Jayashree Janardhanan jayashree.janardhanan@nielsen.com