The latest MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence highlights that consumers in the GCC countries are gaining confidence in their national economies and are optimistic about the future trends.
The index measured consumer confidence in five indicators, namely regular income, employment, economy, stock market and quality of life. Consumer confidence level across the Middle East has soared to new heights at an average score of 81.1, with positive scores for all five indicators. Compared to the previous results, consumers in GCC were most optimistic about regular income (85.1 vs. 89.8), employment (80.8 vs. 85.5), economy (80.0 vs. 84.4), stock market (79.9 vs. 74.9) and quality of life (79.9 vs. 82.9).
The consumer confidence remains highest in Qatar, with a score of 96.5. Qatar is followed by Kuwait (95.8), Oman (95.6), Saudi Arabia (95.2) the UAE (91.4), Egypt (66.6) and Lebanon (26.8). Similar to the findings of previous survey, the Middle East’s aggregate score of 81.1 was higher than that of Asia/Pacific (59.7) and Africa (69.6). The MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence (“Index”) is based on a survey conducted between November 7 to December 23, 2012. The survey was responded to by 11,339 people, aged between 18 and 64 years, in 25 countries within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
The survey points out that consumer confidence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made steady progress. Consumers in Saudi Arabia are ’extremely optimistic’ in their overall consumer confidence score, and made encouraging responses about all five indicators measured in the Index. Male respondents in Saudi Arabia were slightly more optimistic about the coming six months than female respondents (95.2 vs. 95.0). Further, consumers under the age of 30 years (96.2) were more optimistic than older respondents (94.8).
According to Kashif Sohail, market manager, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Pakistan, MasterCard, “consumer confidence in Saudi Arabia has been steadily increasing across all indicators measured, highlighting the market’s sustained growth and strength as the Arab world’s largest economy”.