UAE’s consumer confidence dips slightly in Q2 2014 but remains ahead in Middle East/Africa

July 23, 2014 12:02 pm

UAE led the way for Middle East/Africa consumer confidence with an index of 109, a decline of five points from first-quarter 2014, according to consumer confidence findings from Nielsen. Confidence declined over the previous quarter in the overall Middle East/Africa region (93), decreasing one point.

Among the region, Egypt (81) reported a drop of six points compared 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.”

In conjunction with the second-quarter index release, Nielsen is unveiling a new interactive data visualization tool based on nine years of historical global consumer confidence data, which spans 60 countries and represents a global online population of some 2 billion consumers. The Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Trend Tracker allows users to select a variety of different data points related to consumer economic sentiment to create dynamic visualizations by region, country, issue, and time period.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns, and spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access[1] in 60 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.


Positive perceptions about local job prospects over the next 12 months increased in the second quarter in the Middle East/Africa region by 2 percentage points up to 42 percent. Conversely, in the UAE, the trend was slightly downward: 68 percent of respondents registered positive perceptions of employment opportunities, compared with 71 percent in the first quarter.

More than half (56%) of Middle East/ Africa respondents viewed their personal finances in a positive light which held steady from the first quarter. In the UAE, 60 percent of the respondents believed the state of their finances was good or excellent, down from 65 percent in the first quarter.

Recessionary sentiment improved in the Middle East / Africa region, where the percentage of respondents who believed they were in recession dropped from 73 percent in the first quarter 2014 to 71 percent. Only 37 percent of UAE respondents believed they were in a recession in the second quarter. The sentiment was up 4 percentage points from Q1 but 4 points down from the same time period the previous year (Q2 2013).