Omar Bushahab, Chief Executive Officer of Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in DED
Optimism is running deep while better job prospects and a brighter outlook on personal finance are driving more spending on leisure and entertainment, according to findings in the latest Consumer Confidence Survey conducted by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai.
Positive consumer sentiment on the current state of Dubai’s economy has grown by 16 percentage points between the last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, from 74 per cent to 90 per cent, according to the survey. Those anticipating a strong economic performance in 2013 now constitute 95 per cent, up from 89 per cent in the last quarter of 2012.
The vibrant tourism sector as well as climbing real estate rents and property prices have contributed to the surge in positive perceptions. Meanwhile overall Consumer Confidence Index for the first quarter of 2013 remains at 135 points, same as the previous quarter, indicating optimism remaining stable and steady.
The share of respondents expressing concerns on economy has also come down to 13 per cent from 27 per cent in the last quarter of 2012. Among UAE nationals 88 per cent see the economy performing better during the next 12 months and optimism is slightly higher at 89 per cent among Asian expatriates.
Job security and political stability in the rest of the Arab world continue to be major concerns but an overwhelming majority (87%) expects to see better job prospects this year and 82 per cent rate current job prospects as excellent/good compared to 71 per cent in the previous quarter.
“The prevailing consumer sentiment in Dubai shows an increasing level of confidence in the emirate’s ability to stimulate economic activity, create jobs and generate wealth. Dubai’s bold announcements of a strong commitment to development and pledge to make the emirate more attractive for investment and business is producing the desired results,” commented His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED.
A high level of optimism on future income was also visible in the survey as more than half of the respondents said they would put their spare cash into holidays, savings, or out-of-home entertainment. For 51 per cent of the respondents saving is a target for 2013 and 12 per cent sees investing in real estate as an attractive option.
Personal finance scores high during Q1 2013 as 84 per cent of consumers view their current financial situation as positive and 91 per cent expect it to remain so over the next 12 months. Almost 80 per cent of the respondents find it the best time to buy things they want.
“The retail sector can look forward to sustaining the momentum it has generated in recent years through to 2013 as we can see from the prevailing consumer perceptions. Along with strong personal finance, wider choices and improved customer service quality are also major factors promoting a robust retail sector performance in Dubai,” remarked Omar Bushahab, Chief Executive Officer of Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in DED.
Rising cost of living is a concern for more than half (54%) of the respondents and 31 per cent are looking at cutting down on outdoor expenses to save costs in 2013. Other measures being considered by consumers include cutting down on utility charges and telephone bills as well delays in technology upgrades (phones, computers etc) home refurbishments.
The Consumer Confidence Index is based on responses to three questions regarding perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and whether it is good to buy things that people need and want, all over the next 12 months. Responses vary from Excellent or Good to Not so good or Bad.
Conducted in each quarter, the survey gathers feedbacks from 2,000 respondents, equally divided between the four quarters of the year. The respondents are all Dubai residents and cover males and females as well as nationals and expatriates, in the 20-59 age group.