Dubai – October 29, 2014 – KSA consumer confidence edged up three index points from the second quarter to a score of 105 and had the ninth-highest scores of the 60 countries measured. Regional Consumer Confidence also increased (96) as well as all five countries measured in the Middle East/Africa region in the third quarter. United Arab Emirates increased three points and reported the highest consumer confidence in the region of 112, followed by Saudi Arabia, four points in Pakistan to 103, four points in Egypt to 85 and one point in South Africa to 86.
“In Saudi Arabia, consumer confidence is steadily heading toward a score of 112, which was last reached in 2012 before a drive to legalize the expat workforce,” said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula. “The economy is gradually recovering from the challenges posed by the legalization drive for most of 2013 and the beginning of 2014. However, while confidence is expected to be bullish in the coming days, declining oil prices might pose risks.”
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate 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, respectively. The latest results reflect an outlook of cautious optimism, as every region’s consumer confidence score improved compared to the previous quarter.
JOB PROSPECTS IMPROVE FASTER THAN PERSONAL FINANCES
Over half of KSA respondents (58%) believed the job market would be good or excellent in the next 12 months, a 7 percentage-point increase from the second quarter. While perceptions of personal finances have become more positive, KSA consumers’ overall sentiment about personal finances has not improved as significantly as their sentiment about their employment opportunities. Sixty-two
 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.