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Wed 17 Aug 2016 03:01 PM

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Saudi consumers still cautious, rationalising spending during Q2

Saudi consumer confidence score remains flat in the second quarter of 2016 at 104, according to Nielsen

Saudi consumers still cautious, rationalising spending during Q2

Saudi consumer confidence score remained flat in the second quarter of 2016 at 104 but remained one of just 12 countries globally to reach or exceed a score of 100, which is the optimism benchmark.

Job prospect sentiment improved two percent (50 percent), personal finance sentiment remained bright (64 percent favourable) while immediate spending intentions reduced by four percent (45 percent).

"Consumers are still cautious and rationalising their spending. More than half of the respondents stated that it is not a good time to buy their needs and wants, with one in four respondents said they had no spare cash after paying basic living expenses" said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan.

"They have reduced their spending on out-of-home entertainment, home improvements, decorating and holidays, vacations while continuing to save and invest for retirement.

"Retail sales of fast-moving consumer goods are still showing a slow growth; however, if market conditions remain as it is, we may see the same level of consumer confidence and therefore some improvement in the long term."

The Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index, which is fielded quarterly in 63 countries, showed that global consumer confidence held steady in the second quarter of 2016 at 98, an index score that was flat from the first quarter.

In the six Africa/Middle East countries measured, confidence scores, which ranged from a high of 109 in the UAE to a low of 78 in South Africa have been relatively consistent in each country over the past three or four quarters, Nielsen said.

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