UAE consumers see ray of hope for economic recovery as Nielsen quarterly consumer confidence index increases
The UAE ranks as the seventh most optimistic country in the world in the second quarter of 2009, according to a Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey released today. The Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index, conducted in 28 markets in June 2009, rose to 82 – an increase of 5 points (from 77) from March 2009.
Although 87 per cent of UAE consumers polled believe they are in an economic recession, about half (45%) are confident the country will emerge from it in the next 12 months, a 13 per cent hike from the last survey conducted in March 2009.
Piyush Mathur, Regional Managing Director, Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, The Nielsen Company: “This is a major turning point for the UAE. Consumer confidence reached a record low in March but, three months later, UAE consumers are starting to embrace the idea of recovery. This recession hit globally at a rapid pace, and it appears that we will emerge from it at the same pace. Given the speed of change, Nielsen is now tracking the index quarterly to identify early signs of recovery”
In Nielsen’s latest survey, which polled 14,029 online consumers in 28 countries late in June, 71 percent of respondents said their country is in recession – a positive reduction of six points from a high of 77 percent in March 2009.
Globally, job security and the economy remained consumers’ top concerns, but the level of these concerns has dropped in the last three months, with declines of two and four index points respectively. In the UAE, 34 per cent of consumers rate job security as a top concern (36% in March), followed by the state of the economy at 17 per cent (previously 23%). More than 85 per cent of the nation’s consumers have changed their spending habits to save on household expenses.
“Consumers in the UAE are still concerned about job security and the state of the economy and have changed their spending habits accordingly,” said Mathur. “They are still controlling discretionary spends, especially on out-of-home entertainment, telephone expenses and vacations and taking short breaks.”
India showed the highest jump in consumer confidence, a 13-point leap from 99 in the March 2009 survey. Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Indonesia climbed nine points each, and Taiwan and Brazil experienced eight-point increases. Consumer confidence levels also climbed 7 points in Singapore, Turkey, Russia, Philippines and the United Kingdom. The United States and New Zealand were the only exceptions to this upswing, holding flat in the second quarter, and Germany was the only country to register a decline of one Index point.
With 93 points, the UAE ranks in the Global Consumer Confidence Top 10, trailing the emerging economies of Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Brazil, Australia and China, but ahead of Canada, New Zealand and Singapore.