Consumer confidence on the decline in UAE
Immediate spending intentions decreased among consumers in the UAE in the third quarter of 2015. - File photo
Dubai - "The UAE's economy is showing signs of softening," said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula.
UAE consumer confidence decreased in the third quarter, marking the second consecutive quarterly drop. At 107, this is the lowest score for the country since 2013, according to the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index.
The Index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents in 61 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.
"The UAE's economy is showing signs of softening," said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula.
Lower oil prices and weaker macroeconomic fundamentals regionally as well as globally have impacted the sentiments of UAE's consumer confidence.
In the UAE, sentiment about job prospects increased three percentage points to 65 per cent, while personal finances sentiment and immediate spending intentions decreased four percentage points to 60 per cent and four percentage points to 43 per cent, respectively, from the second quarter of 2015.
UAE discretionary purchase intentions are high on the priority shopping list, including paying off debts/credit cards/loans (26 per cent), spending on holidays and vacation (26 per cent), new clothes (23 per cent) as well as out-of-home entertainment (20 per cent).
Almost half of UAE respondents (44 per cent) planned to save spare cash, a decrease from 48 per cent in the second quarter. UAE saving intentions, on the other hand, showed a slight decrease of two percentage points for investing in stocks and mutual funds (14 per cent) as well as one percentage point for retirement savings (13 per cent) from second quarter of 2015.
Thirteen per cent of UAE respondents said they had no spare cash, down from 14 per cent the previous quarter.
Regionally, consumer confidence decreased in three of five countries measured in the Middle East/Africa region but increased four points in Saudi Arabia (109) and five points in Egypt (90) in the second quarter.
Confidence declined five points in South Africa to 82 and one point in Pakistan to 101. Morocco made its debut in the consumer confidence survey in Q3 with a score of 85.