UAE Rated 7th Most Optimistic Country

ABU DHABI — Consumers in the UAE ranked as the seventh most optimistic of any nation in the just-ended second quarter, a new survey says.

By T. Ramavarman

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Published: Tue 11 Aug 2009, 11:27 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:44 AM

The UAE’s consumer confidence level increased to 93 in June, up four points from 89 in March, according to the latest Global Consumer Confidence survey conducted by Nielsen, a US-based information and media company. Worldwide, the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index rose to 82, five points above its previous showing of 77 in March.

Most of the 28 countries surveyed showed an upswing in their respective consumer confidence index in the second quarter. India showed the sharpest increase, a 13-point leap to 102. Indonesia placed first for the optimism of its consumers, with 113 points.

The index level remained static in the United States and New Zealand. Germany was the only country to register a decline, of one index point.

The Nielsen study, conducted during June 15 to 29, polled 14,029 consumers in the Middle East, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and North America.

Although 87 per cent of the UAE consumers surveyed said that they believed they were experiencing an economic recession, almost half, or 45 per cent, were confident that the country would emerge from the downturn within the next 12 months. This marks a rise of 13 percentage points in the number of identifiably optimistic consumers compared to Nielsen’s last survey in March 2009.

“This is a major turning point for the UAE. Consumer confidence reached a record low in March in the UAE, but three months later, the consumers in the country are starting to embrace the idea of recovery,” Piyush Mathur, Nielsen’s Regional Managing Director for the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan said in a statement.

The survey found that 71 per cent of respondents globally said that their country was in recession – a positive reduction of six points from a high of 77 per cent in March.

“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,” Mathur said.

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 rated job security as a top concern, down from 36 per cent in March. Their second-biggest worry was the state of the economy, at 17 per cent compared to 23 per cent in March. More than 85 per cent of the nation’s consumers have changed their spending habits to save on household expenses, Nielsen found.

“They are still controlling discretionary spending, especially on out-of-home entertainment, telephone expenses and vacations and are taking only short breaks,” Mathur said.

At No. 7 in the rankings, the UAE trailed Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Brazil, Australia and China, but bested Canada, New Zealand and Singapore.


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