Government policies boost consumer confidence

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Ladies enjoying shopping at a BVLGARI showroom in Abu Dhabi
Ladies enjoying shopping at a BVLGARI showroom in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Visit Abu Dhabi

A positive outlook on government policies has continued to help the UAE’s consumer confidence maintain its upward momentum.

Latest first quarter data shows that the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development index climbed five points since the last quarter of 2012 to 128 points. Compared to the same period last year, this was an increase of two points. The consumer confidence has soared on the back of heavy government investment in public and infrastructure-related projects and swift activity in the private sector due to greater access to credit.

A comparison of all indicators shows that confidence in government’s policies topped the list, while future projections about job creation also remained positive. Compared to the same period last year, the score on job creation rose to 149 from 129. Although Emiratis were slightly less optimistic than last year, their score was still higher by 11 points — compared to other nationalities.

According to Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; The level of optimism among citizens had declined during the month of March by about 4 points compared to February, where the index value for individual citizens scored 132 and 136 points respectively as a result of the drop in optimism about the availability of good and suitable jobs for them.”

Expatriates were the most optimistic about the future of the UAE economy due to solid policies of the government. Both public and private sector employees were also more positive about the improved prospects of economic performance. Large-scale government projects helped to create a sense of job security and positivity about the future direction of economy.

However, the unemployed were less positive about their chances of finding a job in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. The report noted that this was mainly “a result of the high expectations of individuals in general compared to growth rates in the emirate, where the creation of real and good jobs needs more time.”

High inflation and a rise in the cost of education and other family activities was also a source of major concern to people.

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