By Andy Sambidge
Latest Datamonitor stats reveal rebound in confidence among consumers in January.
Shoppers in the UAE relaxed their cost saving habits in January as cheaper brands became less of a priority,
latest figures from Datamonitor
The percentage of consumers who said they had opted to buy cheaper brands, cut back on non-essential goods and had reduced their number of shopping trips fell to levels not seen since June 2009.
Only 41 percent of shoppers said cheaper brands were a priority in January compared to 49 percent the previous month.
Forty percent of consumers said they still cut back on shopping trips, down six percent on December while 51 percent said they had cut back on non-essentials, compared to 53 percent of respondents in December.
Datamonitor said the December figures had probably been impacted by Dubai World's debts announcement on November 25 when it said it would seek to delay repaying $26bn of its debt for at least six months.
But according to the latest
Arabian Business Retail Trends Data
, the announcement appears to have had little lasting impact on consumer trends in the UAE.
The data, which asks UAE and Saudi Arabian consumers three key questions about their shopping habits each month, also showed an increase in consumer confidence among shoppers in the kingdom.
On the question of buying cheaper brands, only 31 percent of respondents said they were still making this a shopping habit. This compared to 44 percent in December.
Fewer Saudi shoppers also said they cut back on non-essential products in January compared to the previous month - down two percent to 51 percent.
However, the figures for the kingdom revealed that more people were limiting their shopping trips in January (42 percent of respondents compared to 40 percent in December).