MEA Consumer Confidence: Lowest in 3 years

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Consumer confidence in the Middle East and Africa has declined to its lowest level in three years.

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Middle East and Africa Consumer Confidence hits lowest in 3 years, reveals Nielsen survey. Photo: Beshef/Flickr

Consumer Confidence index decreased in 4 of 6 Middle East/Africa (MEA) markets.

The latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions reveals that while Global consumer confidence increased in the first quarter of 2013, rising two index points to 93 from 91 in Q4 2012, Middle East and Africa Consumer Confidence hit the lowest level in 3 years.

Sixty percent of Middle East/African respondents believed that local job prospects over the next 12 months would be, bad/not good, which was an increase of nine percentage points from Q4 2012. Just over half (52%) of respondents said the state of their personal finances were in good shape, down from 58 percent in Q4 2012. 67 percent Middle East/African respondents were not confident they will be able to spend in the year ahead.

Twenty six percent of respondents in the region said they had no spare cash after paying living expenses — an increase of five percentage points from the end of last year. Cash-strapped respondents planned to cut back on out-of-home entertainment and new technology purchases. The number of respondents in the region who felt mired in recession rose four points quarterly to 77 percent, the highest among all the regions.

Double-digit consumer confidence declines were reported in Egypt (-20) and Saudi Arabia (-16). Pakistan declined seven index points to a score of 87, and United Arab Emirates dropped five index points to 108, which was the highest index reported in the region. Consumer confidence in South Africa increased two index points to 78.

Rammohan Rao; “Egypt’s decline in consumer confidence comes as no surprise as the country’s unsettled political conditions and civil unrest continues.

“Labor strikes in Egypt are increasing since the revolution and several factories were forced to shut down due to protests. Tourism has also been negatively aected as well as foreign investments, consuming Egypt’s foreign reserves, which are down nearly two-thirds from before the uprising. With little money to spend and high ination, Egyptians are forced to implement further belt-tightening measures in 2013.”— Rammohan Rao, managing director, Nielsen Egypt

Consumer Confidence Rebounds in Key Economies in Q1 2013

Global consumer confidence increased in the first quarter of 2013, rising two index points to 93 from 91 in Q4 2012, according to the report.

Improved consumer attitudes about job prospects, personal finances and the ability to spend in the U.S., across key Asian export markets and throughout northern and central Europe helped drive the quarterly uptick. On a year-over-year basis, however, the Q1 2013 index score of 93 is a point lower than it was in Q1 2012.

North America (94) reported the biggest quarterly increase of four points, followed by Asia-Pacific (103), which increased two index points. Declines were reported in the Middle East/Africa region (85), which decreased 11 index points, and in Latin America (94), which declined two index points. Europe’s regional consumer confidence index of 71 held steady from Q4 2012.

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