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UAE consumer morale still high

Abdul Basit / 5 July 2010

DUBAI Consumer confidence is still high in the UAE for the rest of the year despite a slight decrease, compared to first half of 2010, according to the latest survey by MasterCard.

Consumers in the country are approaching the next six months with a little less optimism than the first six months of 2010, MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence Survey revealed.

“We are encouraged to see that consumer confidence in the UAE is still high and consumers continue to be optimistic about the next six months,” said Raghu Malhotra, General Manager, Middle East (Gulf Countries), MasterCard Worldwide.

The UAE has seen a small decline in the current consumer confidence as it scored 82.4, compared to 86.1 six months ago. This score is still high and a significant improvement from a year ago score of 29.6.

Released twice a year, the Index is based on a survey which measures consumer confidence on prevailing expectations in the market for the next six months based on five economic indicators: economy, employment, stock market, regular income and quality of life.

The consumer sentiment is reflected by the five economic indicators that make up the overall Index score. Of these indicators, sentiments toward the Quality of Life (87.5 versus 83.7) and Regular Income (86.8 versus 81.9) have increased compared to six months ago, whereas sentiments have decreased for Stock Market (72.6 versus 89.6), Economy (83.0 versus 89.4) and Employment (82.4 versus 86).

A separate survey on consumer purchasing priorities reveals that the primary purchasing priorities for UAE consumers are dining & entertainment, international personal air travel and fashion & accessories.

“Historically, UAE consumers have tended to rate dining and entertainment and fashion and accessories quite highly. However, it is interesting to see that travel has also moved to the position of a top purchasing priority in this latest survey,” Malhotra said.

He said this is partly a reflection of the fact that the survey was conducted around the same time as the commencement of UAE’s key travel season in the summer months. “These results are particularly relevant for the retail, hospitality and travel sectors in the UAE,” he said.

Middle East

Consumer confidence across the Middle East and Levant is optimistic at 69.2. The current index is lower than the score from a period ago (74.5), but much higher than a year ago (49.9).

Consumer confidence is highest in Kuwait as its score has shot up from 70.9 a period ago to the current score of 96.9. As the only other market to demonstrate an increase in consumer confidence, Saudi Arabia’s score rose from 83.2 a period ago to 85, making it the market with the second highest consumer confidence score across the Middle East and Levant.

—abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com

 
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