By Shane McGinley
Mastercard Index reveals largest shift in confidence in Middle East & Levant region.
Consumers in the UAE are approaching the next six months with renewed optimism, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence Survey.
According to the index, which was published on Wednesday, the UAE has seen a rapid recovery, registering the largest score increase in the region, compared to six months ago.
Released twice a year, the index is based on a survey covering the economy, employment, stock market, regular income and quality of life.
The latest survey was conducted in October and November 2009 and involved 2,400 consumers from six markets in the Middle East and Levant. However, MasterCard said the survey was conducted prior to news of Dubai World's debt announcement, adding that it could not say what impact that might have on the figures.
In the UAE, consumer confidence significantly increased and the scores indicate that consumers polled have become optimistic [86.1] about the next six months, where a score of 100 is most positive and 50 is neutral.
The rise in optimism was reflected by the five economic indicators that make up the overall Index score - Stock Market (89.6 vs. 31.3 a period ago), Economy (89.4 vs. 35.5 a period ago), Employment (86.0 vs. 27.8 a period ago), Quality of Life (83.7 vs. 36.7 a period ago) and Regular Income (81.9 vs. 16.7 a period ago).
“Consumer Confidence in the UAE has significantly increased and consumers appear optimistic about the future,” said Raghu Malhotra, area business head, Middle East, Gulf Countries, MasterCard Worldwide.
“Regarding purchasing priorities, it is interesting that in the UAE dining and entertainment, buying property and fashion and accessories, emerged as among the top spending categories for consumers.”
A few days ago, the article before this said consumer confidence is down. This one says it is up. What is one to make of this?
This one is pre-dubai world debt announcement the other one might have been post. Could also be differences in questioning, differences in sample size, etc.
7 Jan: "UAE consumer confidence drops most in global poll" 20 Jan: "UAE consumer optimism sees big rise - survey" Arabian Business is mostly a press release aggregator, with the occasional analysis and/or feature article. It's "we report, you decide" to the extreme.
Stock Market (89.6 vs. 31.3 a period ago)...reality says its got worse since the last period Economy (89.4 vs. 35.5 a period ago)...again, reality is that its totally worse than in the last period Employment (86.0 vs. 27.8 a period ago)...no better than the last period Quality of Life (83.7 vs. 36.7 a period ago)...O' please, realistically, how have things got better?? Regular Income (81.9 vs. 16.7 a period ago)...compared to last period the reality is, if your still in the same job, you're lucky. The results of this poll appear to have come from people who are tremendously optimistic with their answers being based on 'hope' and NOT economic FACTS. Some may say its good to be optimistic but whoever answered this survey appears to be blindly optimistic. Maybe they thought things have to get better just because the have to. Maybe they haven't being keeping abreast of the world economic happenings. There is nothing to point to that says we are coming out of recession/depression other than a few bits and peices that in the overall scheme of things have little or no longterm economic impact for the better. I guarantee that the next poll does not read the same way. The optimism will revert back when peoples 'hope' does not manifest into reality...a little like Obama's rhetoric. Hope, hope, hope based on nothing but words.