By Andy Sambidge
Arabian Business survey reveals lack of consumer confidence among Gulf residents.
Economies in the Gulf region may be booming at the moment on the back of high oil prices but consumers fear the worst about their future, according to an Arabian Business poll.
More than 80 percent of people who took part in our online survey over the weekend said they felt they were struggling to cope with the soaring cost of living as inflationary pressures continued to hit the region.
Our results seem to support the findings of the latest Bayt.com survey which claimed consumer confidence in the GCC, especially the UAE, was at a low point.
The UAE dropped by eight index points, with minor decreases in Qatar by 0.3 index points followed by Saudi Arabia with a drop of 2.1 index points, and a drop in Bahrain by 4.9 index points. Only Kuwait showed any positive after increasing by three points.
Consumer expectations and optimism towards the future, the survey found, dropped considerably in the UAE, falling by 9.8 points since the previous quarter.
In comparison, Kuwait recorded a marginal dip of 0.3, while KSA and Bahrain noted decreases of 1.9 and 4 points respectively. Qatar remained the only Gulf country to feel an improvement, with an increase of 2.3 index points.
Optimism for the future in terms of their country's economy remained relatively low from respondents across all countries, with 35 percent believing their economy will deteriorate.
In our survey, 40 percent of respondents said they were considering leaving the region because crippling price rises were maing life difficult for them.
Another 40 percent said that the cost of living had increased dramatically and they felt they were a lot worse off than at the same period last year
In the Bayt.com research, there were general feelings of optimism however regarding how people feel their financial positions would change in a year's time, with 46 percent feeling they would be better off.
And 20 percent of respondents to the Arabian Business poll agreed with this with 17 percent of those saying their lives were very comfortable and they had no financial problems.
Just three per cent said that everything was great and they expected things to get even better.