By Andy Sambidge
New research confirms arrival of credit crunch following third successive fall in index.
A new survey has confirmed the arrival of the credit crunch in the UAE with it losing points in the latest Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for the third time this year.
According to research by Bayt.com in conjunction with research specialists YouGovSiraj, consumer confidence dropped in the UAE for the third consecutive period this year - dropping by 3.4 index points.
While not the biggest drop recorded this year, the dip follows previous falls in consumer confidence in the UAE throughout 2008, UAE daily Khaleej Times reported on Tuesday.
CCI is a measure of consumer expectations, purchasing pattern, job opportunities, cost of living, the retail and sales sector respectively.
Data for the October/November 2008 Consumer Confidence Index Survey was collected online between the period of October 27 and November 24, 2008, with 13,733 respondents from across the Middle East.
The CCI saw a mixed trend with Bahrain and Qatar showing an upward movement of 1.8 and 1.2 points respectively, while Saudi Arabia recorded no change and the UAE saw a drop of 3.4 points. Kuwait and Oman recorded a similar drop to the UAE, falling 3.3 and 3.4 points respectively.
Countries in the Levant saw a marked improvement, with Lebanon moving up its index by a massive 25.5 points, Jordan by 21.2 points and Syria by 5.1 points.
“Although the indicator will not predict economic performance, it does provide a very insightful look into how consumers are truly feeling," said Nassim Ghrayeb, CEO, YouGovSiraj.
"The fact that the numbers have dropped in terms of willingness to spend suggests that consumers are exercising caution during this period of instability.”
One measure of the CCI assesses how respondents feel that their financial position has changed in terms of whether they are better or worse off this year compared to the last.
Overall, respondents in the November survey did not reach a consensus over whether their financial position was better or worse – 30 per cent for each, narrowly eclipsed at 34 per cent by those who felt their position was the same.
Qatar respondents felt the most positive with 39 per cent feeling they were better off whereas Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, and Syria were the only countries where the majority felt they were worse off.