Emiratis see better financial climate
Dubai, August 21, 2012
More than half (52 per cent) in the UAE believe that their personal financial situation will improve in the years to come, while 45 per cent also expect an improvement in the country’s economy, said a report.
While 49 per cent saw advancement in the country’s business and employment conditions, 35 per cent stated there will be more jobs available, according the latest Mena Consumer Confidence Index Survey, conducted by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one job site, and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation.
Respondents from the UAE feel that their current personal financial situation has either remained the same (36 per cent) or become worse (31 per cent). Feelings towards the country’s economy are mostly neutral (36 per cent), and it is considered to be a neutral time to buy according to 50 per cent.
In line with this, 74 per cent of respondents state that business conditions are neutral to bad, and 80 per cent state that there are ‘not many’ or ‘very few’ jobs available.
While a third (30 per cent) of UAE respondents believe that there are more employees in their company now than there were at this time last year; 34 per cent claim that there are fewer. The majority (68 per cent) state that their salary has not kept pace with the cost of living, the survey said.
Job satisfaction in the UAE is considered to be mostly neutral to low, with only 16 per cent believing that the career prospects in their current job are high, while 43 per cent state that the opportunities for career growth are low, according to the survey.
The majority (75 per cent) claim neutral to low satisfaction with their job security, and half (50 per cent) are unhappy with their current compensation.
Over 23 per cent of UAE respondents anticipate a growth in the number of employees at their current company in the coming three months, with 38 per cent being ‘neutral’ with the prospect of keeping up with staffing requirements.
Respondents anticipate a mostly negative impact vis-a-vis the cost of living (according to 35 per cent); they also believe that accommodation costs will rise (stated by 33 per cent).
In the next 12 months, 27 per cent of UAE respondents are considering purchasing a vehicle; of these, 49 per cent will buy new. Within the same time frame, 19 per cent will consider buying property, 66 per cent of whom will purchase a new property.
The three most popular consumer purchases for the next six months will be desktop or laptop computers (24 per cent); furniture (20 per cent) and LCD or plasma televisions (17 per cent).
In general across the Mena region, feelings for respondents’ personal situations at the present time are neutral.
According to the survey, only 28 per cent claim that their financial situation is better than last year, compared to 65 per cent who state that it has either remained the same or declined.
National economies are considered to be worse than last year, according to 33 per cent of respondents. Consumer behaviour (41 per cent of respondents say that now is a ‘bad time to buy’) is likely impacting business conditions which are neutral to bad, as stated by 65 per cent.
In terms of employment, almost half of the respondents (49 per cent) claim that there are ‘very few jobs available’. Six out of ten say that their company has either the same or fewer employees than this time 12 months ago, and two thirds (65 per cent) believe that their salaries have not kept pace with the cost of living.
However, respondents appear to be optimistic for the upcoming year. The majority believe that their personal financial situation (51 per cent), country’s economy (44 per cent), business conditions (49 per cent) and employment conditions (35 per cent) will improve.
“Retaining a positive outlook for the year to come will be pivotal to the region’s success. Conditions may not be considered to be entirely favourable at the present time, but there are plenty of signs that the months to come will prove beneficial for all,” said Suhail Masri, vice president of Sales, Bayt.com.
“Bayt.com gathers vital information from pertinent cross-sections of MENA society, to provide in-depth insights into the feelings, behaviour and trends happening in recruitment and business around the region.”
Satisfaction with career prospects in the region at present is low, according to 39 per cent of respondents, while 38 per cent state that it is ‘neutral’. Three quarters of respondents (74 per cent) also claim that prospect for career growth in their current organisation is neutral to low.
Job security is seen to be an issue by 67 per cent, with only one in four (27 per cent) claiming their job security is ‘high’, and satisfaction with compensation is neutral to low, according to 84 per cent.
With regards to employment, 24 per cent of companies expect to increase employees in the coming 3 months. A further 61 per cent are either neutral or pessimistic about growth potential vis-a-vis the number of employees in their organization. The sentiment towards keeping up with staffing requirements is neutral, according to four out of ten respondents (37 per cent); however 19 per cent cite optimism.
The outlook for inflation is negative, with 38 per cent believing there will be a rise in the cost of living. Similarly, 36 per cent believe the cost of real estate is still creating a feeling of negativity across the region.
In the next 12 months 29 per cent of respondents are planning to purchase a vehicle. Of these, 51 per cent will buy new. Moreover, One in five (21 per cent) are considering investing in property, with 65 per cent of them planning to buy new.
The five most popular consumer purchases in the next six months will be desktop or laptop computers (25 per cent); furniture (20 per cent); LCD or plasma television (18 per cent); air conditioners (16 per cent) and digital cameras (13 per cent).
“Consumer habits have remained somewhat stable in the past year, with the same five product categories continually topping the list. Computers are always a favourite purchase across the board, and technology in general seems to consistently be the best-selling consumer goods category,” said Sundip Chahal, CEO, YouGov. – TradeArabia News Service