Kuwait consumer confidence neutral says survey
Kuwait, June 29, 2009
The consumer confidence in Kuwait is neutral for the second half of 2009, says a study, with several consumers still optimistic about regular income and employment for the six months ahead.
According to the latest 'MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence' survey, the overall confidence is noticeably lower when compared to the first half of 2009.
In line with the latest Index, MasterCard has also announced the results of the MasterCard Worldwide Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities.
'In Kuwait, while consumers are not bullish about the next six months, neither are they feeling pessimistic,' said Raghu Malhotra, area business head, Middle East (Gulf countries), MasterCard Worldwide.
'This is encouraging given the economic challenges of today. In terms of their purchasing priorities, it is interesting that in Kuwait, dining and entertainment, personal travel and consumer electronics emerged as some of the most important priorities for consumers,' he noted.
Malhotra said MasterCard was pleased to be consistently conducting these surveys 'as they underscore our commitment to be a credible source of knowledge for our customers, associates, and merchants as they develop their strategies for business success.'
Now in its 5th year in the Middle East and Levant, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the region’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey.
The latest survey was conducted from March 23 to April 18 and involved 2,600 consumers from 6 markets.
The data was collected via personal, telephone and computer-aided telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.
In Kuwait, consumers are neutral (49.5) and are adopting a wait-and-see view about the next six months. The market’s Index score is less so than a period ago (96.6], a year ago [89.4] and the historical average [92.6],' the survey added.
The drop in consumer confidence is reflected mostly in the areas of economy, which fell to 45.2 from 95.9 a period ago, w hile the stock market, which dropped to 25.4 from 93 a period ago and Quality of Life which dropped to 47.8 from 97.6 a period ago.
Kuwaiti consumers’ confidence remains optimistic for Regular Income (70 vs. 98 a period ago) and Employment (59.1 vs. 98.6 a period ago), though less so than a period ago.
The MasterCard Worldwide Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, also released twice a year, provides valuable insights into consumers’ savings and expenditure behavior and their discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead.
As per the survey, currently 23 per cent of the consumers in Kuwait are spending 61–70 per cent of their total annual income on household expenses.
In the Middle East and Levant, 55 per cent of the consumers plan to maintain the same level of discretionary/recreation spending as the last 6 months. In Kuwait 69 per cent of the consumers plan to do the same.
Across the Middle East and Levant, the top spending priorities are dining and entertainment (71 per cent), fashion and accessories (49 per cent), and consumer electronics (42 per cent) in the next 6 months ahead.
In Kuwait, the top spending priorities are dining and entertainment (86%), international personal air travel (71 per cent) and consumer electronics (51 per cent), the survey added.
Across the Middle East and Levant, 73 per cent of the consumers intend to save for precautionary reasons compared to the 68 per cent in Kuwait.
In addition, about 24 per cent of the consumers in Kuwait are planning to save between 21–30 per cent of their total income in the next 6 months, the survey stated.-TradeArabia News Service