Consumer confidence in Saudi Arabia slumped in the first quarter of 2013 while the UAE's score also fell, according to the latest findings from Nielsen.
Its Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions showed that confidence in Saudi Arabia plummeted by 17 points compared to the previous quarter.
Egypt saw the largest decline in Q1 (down 20 points) while the UAE fell five index points to 108, but still retained its position as the most confident in the Middle East region.
Despite the drop, the UAE's score was still 15 points higher than the global average, Nielsen said.
Globally, the UAE ranked equal sixth for consumer confidence alongside China and Hong Kong.
The Q1 index was topped by Indonesia (122 points), followed by India, Philippines, Thailand and Brazil.
Among the worst performers in Q1 were Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Croatia.
Europe’s regional consumer confidence index of 71 held steady from Q4 2012. At the end of last year, consumer confidence fell in 20 of 29 European markets. In Q1, the opposite trend was reported, as consumer confidence rose in 20 of 29 markets.
North America (94) reported the biggest quarter-on-quarter regional consumer confidence rise of four points in Q1.
Consumer confidence declines were reported in the Middle East/Africa region (85), which decreased 11 index points since Q4 2012 and in Latin America (94), which declined two index points from the previous quarter.
Global consumer confidence indexed at 93, one point lower than the index in Q1 2012 and two points higher than it measured in Q4 2012.
The Nielsen index measures consumer confidence, major concerns, and spending intentions among more than 29,000 respondents in 58 countries.
Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.
In the latest round of the survey, consumer confidence rose in 60 percent of global markets measured by Nielsen, compared to a 33 percent increase reported in Q4 2012.