The latest Middle East and North Africa Consumer Confidence Index, or CCI, Survey, shows that 64 per cent of the respondents believe that the economic situation will continue to improve while 71 per cent anticipate better business conditions.
The Washington-based Institute for International Finance, or IIF, predicted recenlty that the UAE economy is expected to continue achieving new records and cross the Dh1.5 trillion mark next year.
“The UAE economy is to continue its rise to reach $395 billion in 2013 and a record high of around $410 billion in 2014,” the IIF report said.
According to UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the country’s economy is expected to sustain an annual growth rate above four per cent in 2013.
The survey conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation, shows that 44 per cent of respondents in the UAE are of the opinion that the economic situation has improved in the last six months, and 43 per cent claiming that business conditions now are either “good” or “very good”, with 46 per cent thinking there will be more jobs available.
As far as their current financial situation is concerned, 46 per cent of UAE respondents say that there has been no change in the past six months, while 22 per cent claim there has been an improvement; almost half (49 per cent) say that their savings have depleted in comparison to last year. However, with 56 per cent believing that things will be better in the coming six months, the UAE is one of the most optimistic countries in the region. Despite this optimism, 71 per cent believe that the cost of living in the country will increase within the same timeframe, according to the survey.
The majority of UAE residents (48 per cent) are not considering buying a personal vehicle in the next 12 months. Of the 39 per cent who claim they are looking to make a purchase, 45 per cent will choose to buy a new vehicle, while 46 per cent will opt for a used one. In terms of property, only 23 per cent are looking to invest; interests lie in buying new apartments.
Overall, in the Middle East North Africa, or Mena, 44 per cent of professionals expect their personal finances to improve in the next six months while 55 per cent of residents believe business conditions will also become better.
Only 18 per cent of respondents across the Mena region claim that they are in a better financial position now than they were six months ago. Only 15 per cent across the region say that their savings have increased in the last year, with 25 per cent saying they have remained the same. However, hope for the future is high, with 44 per cent expecting their financial situation to improve in the next six months, the survey results show.
Conversely, 78 per cent believe that the cost of living in their country will increase. Only 32 per cent will look to buy a vehicle in the next 12 months (of which the majority (48 per cent) will opt for a used vehicle), and only 20 per cent are looking to buy property within the same time frame. Those intending to invest in property will primarily look for new (57 per cent) apartments.
In terms of smaller purchases, desktop or laptop computers remain the most popular anticipated purchase (27 per cent), followed by furniture (18 per cent) and LCD or plasma televisions (17 per cent).
According to respondents, the UAE ranks fifth in the Mena region in terms of company growth in the last six months, with 36 per cent stating there are now more employees than before. Four in ten respondents (44 per cent) believe their company will hire in the next six months.
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