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Consumer Confidence Gets a Boost in the Middle East/Africa in Q1
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Consumer Confidence Gets a Boost in the Middle East/Africa in Q1

Egypt posted the single-highest consumer confidence jump of all countries measured (60) by the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions in first-quarter 2014, rising 11 index points to 87. Within the Middle East and Africa region, United Arab Emirates (index 114) and Saudi Arabia (102) reported the two highest consumer confidence scores, increasing four and one index points, respectively, from fourth-quarter 2013. Meanwhile, confidence in Pakistan increased two index points to 99, and South Africa posted the only regional decline, as confidence slipped four index points to 82.

Recessionary sentiment improved in the United Arab Emirates, where the percentage of respondents who believed they were in recession dropped from 44 percent in fourth-quarter 2013 to 33 percent—the lowest level in the region. In Pakistan, recessionary sentiment declined as well, falling 6 percentage points to 76 percent. Conversely, the percentage of respondents in South Africa feeling mired in recession increased 9 percentage points to 76 percent from fourth-quarter 2013.

Regional discretionary spending intentions increased for all categories measured in the first quarter, with sentiment about spending for holidays/vacations and out-of-home entertainment increasing the most, rising 4 and 3 percentage points, respectively. Intentions to buy new clothes and spend on home improvement projects each increased 2 percentage points. Thirty-seven percent put spare cash into savings and 10 percent invested in shares of stocks, quarterly increases of 2 percentage points each. Twenty-two percent of consumers in the region said they had no spare cash, down 3 percentage points from fourth-quarter 2013.

The report also covers:

  • Global consumer confidence, which improved to an index level of 96 index points.
  • Findings from three new sub-Saharan African markets: Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.
  • A regional review of consumer confidence around the world.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q1 2014 Global Consumer Confidence Report.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Feb. 17, 2014–March 7, 2014, 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 it’s weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6 percent. 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 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.