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Thu 10 Sep 2009 12:26 PM

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UAE, Qatar consumers tops for savings - survey

More consumers aim to save more in H2 as global downturn continues.

More consumers in the UAE and Qatar are planning to try to save more over the next six months than in other Middle East countries amid the current economic downturn, a new survey has revealed.

Topping the list of savers was the UAE, with 47 percent of consumers intending to save more, followed by Qatar (44 percent).  At the other end of the spectrum, Egypt has the highest percentage of consumers planning to save less at 63%.

Uncertainty over the economy and the need to be prepared for unforeseen emergency expenditures was the top reason cited by consumers in the Middle East and Levant for planning to maintain or increase their level of saving in the next six months.

The MasterCard survey provided insights into consumers’ savings behaviour for the six months ahead. The survey was based on a survey of 2,600 consumers in six markets.  

The survey showed that 87 percent of younger consumers in Saudi Arabia, those aged 30 and under, were planning to save either the same or more in the next six months, compared to those aged between 31- 45 (85 percent), 46-55 (73 percent) and those aged 56 years and above (78 percent).

“It is interesting that in Saudi Arabia, buying or upgrading/renovating home or property, purchase of cars and motorcycles, and, purchase of consumer electronics emerged as some of the most important saving priorities for consumers,” said Raghu Malhotra, area business head, Middle East (Gulf countries), MasterCard Worldwide.

Apart from having an emergency stash, the other main reasons for consumers in Saudi Arabia to save included buying property (64 percent), purchasing cars and motorcycles (60 percent), and buying consumer electronics (55 percent). The main reason for Saudi consumers saving less was high inflation, the survey showed.

In Kuwait, the economic uncertainty had caused 68 percent of consumers in to either maintain or increase their level of savings while that figure rose to 83 percent in Qatar and 84 percent in the UAE.

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