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UAE consumer confidence sees small dip

Dubai, October 12, 2011

UAE residents still have a positive outlook of the country’s economy, as well as their financial future despite the consumer confidence index dropping by 1.3 points in a new survey.

Fifty-four per cent believe that their financial position will improve in a year’s time, while a good 16 per cent claim it will stay the same and only 8 per cent believe it will get worse, said the quarterly MENA Consumer Confidence Index survey by Bayt.com and research and consulting organisation, YouGov.

Sixty-two per cent of the UAE residents feel that the current salary is not in line with the cost of living, while 33 per cent stated buying consumer durables is not practical in the present situation, according to the report.

In parallel, 46 per cent of UAE respondents expect that the UAE’s economy will get better within the same time frame. However, this claim won’t essentially mean an increase in the number of jobs.

Only 35 per cent of UAE respondents think there will be more jobs available in a year’s time, while 51 per cent feel there will be either no change or fewer jobs, the study found.

Similarly, 26 per cent seem pessimistic towards the possibility of increase in their organisation’s employee-count in the coming quarter, while only 21 per cent felt the opposite and believe that there will be a positive growth, and a good 36 per cent share a neutral outlook on the same.

Likewise, companies addressing staffing requirements in the coming three months show that 38 per cent of UAE survey takers are neutral, with 18 per cent who seem optimistic and less than one-third (28 per cent) appear quite pessimistic, the study said.

“While a certain number of countries witnessed a drop in their Consumer Confidence Index since last quarter, the region’s overall sentiment towards the future remains positive. It will be interesting to see if the region can slowly, but surely reach a long-term period of true stability in the near future,” explained Amer Zureikat, VP Sales at Bayt.com.

With regards the respondents’ present situation in the UAE, 39 per cent have experienced no change, and the financial situation is worse for 29 per cent of survey-takers, while only 26 per cent have had an improved financial position in comparison to the previous year, the survey showed.

The survey’s respondents also remain doubtful on the current attitude towards purchasing of consumer durable goods, with 33 per cent of UAE respondents saying ‘now is a bad time to buy. Only 17 per cent believe that this is a good time to buy, while a whopping 42 per cent stay neutral.

Additionally, with 66 per cent of UAE residents opting to shy away from investments in property and 54 per cent from purchasing a car in the next 12 months, only a mere 18 per cent will look into investing in properties and 33 per cent in a car, according to the survey.

From those who are willing to do such investments in a year’s time, 73 per cent said they will be buying a ‘new’ property and 52 per cent a ‘new’ car, while 42 per cent said they will opt for a used one.

“We conduct our quarterly Middle East Consumer Confidence Index Survey in order to chart how consumer confidence levels are changing as the region goes through different economic cycles, and faces the challenges and pressures wrought by economic trends and events across the globe,” added Zureikat.

“This seeks to provide all stakeholders, from regional businesses to local organisations and HR professionals with up-to-date information that is both relevant and reliable as a snapshot of current market trends.”

When it comes to employment, only 16 per cent of UAE respondents appear to be highly satisfied with their career prospects, while 43 per cent have neutral sentiments, and 35 per cent are displeased. Correspondingly, only 17 per cent appear to be highly satisfied with their career growth in their current organisation, while 39 per cent seem unhappy and 41 per cent are neutral.

“Gauging consumer opinion is a powerful tool for revealing the current attitudes and sentiments about the business and economic conditions in a specific country, and to see how these change overtime,” said Sundip Chahal, chief operating officer of YouGov.

Data from the Consumer Confidence Index survey shows that feelings towards the level of job security in the UAE are relatively balanced with 24 per cent saying they are highly satisfied, while 40 per cent have neutral feelings towards their job security; and 30 per cent being unsatisfied, the study found. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Dubai | index | Survey | Bayt | Consumer confidence |

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