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Consumer Confidence Grows in UAE, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan
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Consumer Confidence Grows in UAE, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan

The Middle East/Africa region registered a one-point increase in Nielsen’s latest first-quarter global consumer confidence results with an index score of 96. Three of five countries measured in the region also showed confidence increases.

Leading the region, with a score of 115, the United Arab Emirates showed an increase of one point from fourth-quarter 2014. Confidence also increased five points in Saudi Arabia to 107 and one point in Pakistan to 102. Conversely, confidence decreased one point in South Africa to 87 and remained steady in Egypt at 90.

Sentiment about job prospects edged up one percentage point to 44%, while personal finances sentiment and immediate spending intentions remained flat at 60% and 39%, respectively, from fourth-quarter 2014. Job confidence improved most in Egypt, rising three percentage points to 43%, while the personal financial outlook in Pakistan rose five percentage points from fourth-quarter 2014.

Similarly, recessionary sentiment improved in three out of five Middle East/Africa markets: Egypt and South Africa each declined two percentage points to 79% and 70%, respectively, and Saudi Arabia declined one percentage point to 43%.

Regionally, quarter-on-quarter discretionary spending and saving intentions decreased or held steady for most lifestyle categories. Spending intentions for home entertainment expenses, buying new clothes and taking holidays/vacations declined, while intentions for putting money into savings accounts increased and the percentages for investing and saving for retirement were flat from the previous quarter.

Other findings include:

  • Global consumers opt to save extra cash on hand, pull back on discretionary spending.
  • Nine of 14 countries in Asia-Pacific start the year at or above a baseline reading of 100.
  • Concerns about the economy and job security decreased while health and work/life balance concerns increased.
  • Recession-battered Italy and Greece post 12-point quarterly confidence increases.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q1 2015 Global Consumer Confidence Report.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Feb. 23 – March 13, 2015 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 its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.