Middle East/Africa Respondents Remain Prudent in an Uncertain Economy

Middle East/Africa Respondents Remain Prudent in an Uncertain Economy

Consumer confidence in the Middle East/Africa region reported a slight decline in the second quarter, as its index score dropped one point from the previous quarter to a level of 93.

Quarter-on-quarter discretionary spending intentions held steady in the region, with marginal improvements for buying new clothes, buying new technology products and conducting home improvement projects, but there was a slight pullback for saving and investing intentions. One-fourth of Middle East/Africa respondents said they had no spare cash, a rise of 3 percentage points from the first quarter.

In the United Arab Emirates, confidence was high and above the baseline (109 index points), which was the highest level in the region despite declining five points in the second quarter. Similarly, Egypt (81) also reported a drop of six points from to the first quarter. South Africa posted the only regional confidence increase, climbing three points to 85, and confidence held steady in Saudi Arabia (102) and Pakistan (99).

“In the United Arab Emirates, consumer confidence returned to 2013 levels after a four-point increase in the first quarter,” said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula. “In addition to rising rent and utility bills, job security declined slightly, which impacted purchasing intent among many consumers who are already cautious about spending.”

Other findings include: 

  • Track nine years of consumer confidence trends with the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Trend Tracker, a fresh, interactive way to view the worldwide economic sentiment.
  •  Find out which countries have climbed out of recessionary lows and which are still mired in a pessimistic outlook.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The findings in this survey are based on respondents with online access across 60 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.