UAE most confident in ME
Consumer confidence in the UAE, the second-biggest Arab economy, continued to be stronger during the second quarter as the nation claimed sixth position in the global confidence index, according to a Nielsen survey.
“The nation has retained its sixth position in the elite group of world’s top 10 most confident nations,” according to Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt were the only other two nations from the Middle East and North Africa that secured places in the top 10 in the survey conducted between May 4 and May 21, 2012.
“The spending on expanding oil and gas and civil infrastructure in Abu Dhabi has boosted the economic growth prospects as oil prices have averaged $100 a barrel,” a marketing manager of a leading consumer goods company said.
“Thousands of new jobs have been created on those projects, while large spending has created wealth for the contractors and other stakeholders, which is translating into stronger consumer,” he said.
The survey said that consumer confidence fell across major emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil in the second quarter. However, despite declining by three index points to 91, global consumer confidence is up two index points from the same period last year, the survey said. “Global consumer confidence declined three index points to 91 in second quarter of 2012 amid a worsening eurozone crisis, lacklustre US job growth and China’s downward GDP revision for 2012,” the Nielsen report said.
Indonesia showed a rise in the index ladder, climbing two points to 120 to top the list of most confident countries in the second quarter. The resource-rich country overtook the first position from India, which lost four points from the first-quarter survey and is now placed second with 119 points. India had been the world’s most optimistic market for nine consecutive quarters.
The other leading nations in descending order are the Philippines (116, -2), Saudi Arabia (115, -4), Malaysia (111, +4), the UAE (108, +3) Brazil (106, -4), China (105, -5), Hong Kong/Thailand (104, +1, +3), and Egypt (103, +6).
In the latest round of the survey, overall confidence rose in 41 per cent of global markets measured by Nielsen, compared to a 68 per cent increase in the previous quarter.
“Consumers are clearly proceeding with caution in relation to their spending intentions,” said Dr Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen. “Consumer confidence lost momentum in the second quarter as global events, including a worsening eurozone crisis coupled with slowing growth rates in China and India, impacted financial markets and consumer sentiment in many parts of the world. As renewed volatility entered global markets, consumers reacted by reining in spending and consumption intentions.”
Consistent with previous quarters, the economy and job security remain top concerns for global consumers surveyed. About 16 per cent of respondents indicated that their top concern is the economy and 14 per cent said they are concerned about job security. Only 10 per cent of respondents are concerned about balancing work and life responsibilities.