CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IN PAKISTAN HOLDS STEADY TO CLOSE 2013,
PAKISTANI RESPONDENTS ARE STILL MOST CONCERNED ABOUT JOB SECURITY
Pakistani consumer confidence held steady at 97 for a second consecutive quarter, ending 2013 ten points higher than it started (Q1 2013), according to consumer confidence findings from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.
“Pakistani consumers have expressed trust in the incumbent government, and are more confident in the future than a year ago, despite the challenges of liveing in one of the most populated countries in the world. They continue to show their faith in the ability of this government to overcome economic and other challenges, even though the performance, so far, has been mixed” said Mustafa Moosajee, Managing Director, Nielsen Pakistan.
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 November 11–29, 2013, consumer confidence increased in 43 percent of markets measured by Nielsen, compared to 57 percent in Q3 2013.
In the Middle East/Africa, most confident were United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia (101) respondents, which increased four index points from the previous quarter. Confidence in South Africa posted a two-point quarterly increase to 86, and Pakistan held – as already mentioned – steady at 97. Consumer confidence in Egypt declined 7 index points to 76, reversing its six-point index gain in Q3 2013.
Cash-Strapped Consumers Are Cautious Spenders
Nielsen information shows that discretionary spending intentions in Pakistan declined across most categories measured in Q4 2013. Intentions to spend on new clothes (22%) and spending on out-of-home entertainment (13%) decreased 3 percentage points from the previous quarter. Spending on new technology (22%), on home improvement projects (17%), holidays/vacations (12%) as well as investing in stocks and mutual funds (19%) each declined 2 percentage points. At the same time, Pakistani respondents who intend to save (32%) declined 4 percentage points than reported in the previous quarter and on par with Q4 2012 findings.
“The young generation is overwhelmed with technology and fashion, for a country with the median age is 22 and is considered one of largest economies in term of purchasing power, it is only natural that topping the list of their discretionary spending are new clothes and new technology,” commented Mustafa Moosajee, Managing Director, Nielsen Pakistan. “However, more Pakistanis have less spare cash to save or to spend on essentials.”
Major Concerns – Securing a Job Captures the Worries of Pakistanis
The steadiness in consumer confidence here in the fourth quarter wasn’t influenced by a slight increase in the number of consumers worried about job prospects: From 50 per cent in the third quarter survey to 54 per cent.
“With more than 60% of the population under the age of 30, there is a constant demand for employment opportunities and the need to start a career and be employed is vast; hence the top concern is securing a living or a career,” said Mustafa Moosajee, Managing Director, Nielsen Pakistan.
Parents’ welfare and happiness score 21 percent to become the second worry and one in every five Pakistani is concerned about the economy. Other concerns are terrorism (19%), children’s education and welfare (19%), health (16%), work/life balance (15%), increasing utility bills (11%) and increasing food prices (8%).
About the Nielsen Global Survey
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted November 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, 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.