April 17, 2012
Dubai, UAE, April 17 2012 – Despite the continuing economic challenges, consumers still remain upbeat about the region’s future and its financial condition, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide IndexTM of Consumer Confidence, released today.
The survey conducted on 12,915 respondents between 5 December 2011 and 8 February 2012 in 25 countries, recorded a three-point rise in Middle East consumer confidence from the previous six month period, bringing the index to (85.7), significantly higher than Africa (73.8) and Asia Pacific (52.1).
In the Middle East, Qatar and Oman topped the index with a remarkable score (93.6); followed closely by Egypt (88.3), Kuwait (88.3), Saudi Arabia (83.9) and the United Arab Emirates (82.1). Lebanon showed the highest increase in consumer sentiment (70.5), up by 46.4 points over the last six months. India (81.2) - one among the largest economies in the world, was ranked as the most optimistic nation in Asia, whilst Nigeria (96.4) retained the top spot in Africa, followed by Morocco (87.2).
Now in its 20th year and its 9th year in the Middle East and Africa, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the region’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey. The Index is based on a survey which measures consumer confidence on prevailing expectations in the market over the next six months, based on five economic indicators: Economy, Employment, Stock Market, Regular Income and Quality of Life. The Index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic 100 as the most optimistic. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.
Six out of the seven Middle East markets polled recorded an increase in 4 key indicators which include Regular Income (86.3 to 91.3 Index points), Employment (82.9 to 85.5 Index points), Economy (82.5 to 86.5 Index points), and Quality of Life (81.5 to 87.6 Index points). Only the Stock Market indicator registered a decline (81.0 to77.8 Index points).
The positive indicators are viewed as the result of enhanced reforms within the region and introduction of new socio-economic opportunities, especially for young people, resulting in significantly improved overall growth forecasts.
While the overall consumer confidence remained positive in the Middle East, concerns over future oil demand; rising food prices and housing components led to a significant deterioration in Saudi Arabia (down 14.5 Index points) and UAE (down 10.8 Index points).
Minor deteriorations were also recorded in Qatar (down 6.1 Index points) and Oman (down 5.2 Index points) while Kuwait remained stable (88.3). Increase (up 12.9 Index points) in consumer optimism, makes Egypt a structurally bullish story which is largely attributed to the regime change last year
If consumer sentiment reflects economic growth over the next six months within the Middle East, the region will remain an exciting story.
|H2 2011 Current Status||Change from last half|
|Middle East||85.7||Very Optimistic||2.9||Stable +|
|Egypt||88.3||Very Optimistic||12.9||Significant Improvement|
|Kuwait||88.3||Very Optimistic||-2.3||Stable -|
|Oman||93.6||Extremely Optimistic||-5.2||Some Deterioration|
|Qatar||93.6||Extremely Optimistic||-6.1||Some Deterioration|
|Saudi Arabia||83.9||Very Optimistic||-14.5||Significant Deterioration|
|United Arab Emirates||82.1||Very Optimistic||-10.8||Significant Deterioration|
Respondents were asked 5 questions pertaining to their 6-month outlook on the economy, employment prospects, the local stock market, their regular income prospects and their quality of life. The results of their responses were converted in 5 component indexes which were averaged to form the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence (MWICC) score. The MWICC Index score and the 5 component index scores range from 0 – 100 where 0 represents maximum pessimism, 100 represents maximum optimism and 50 represents neutrality.
The MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence survey has a 20-year track record of consumer confidence indices collected from over 200,000 interviews, unequalled both in scope and history across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the most comprehensive and longest running survey of its kind in the region. In June 1997, the Index revealed a decline in consumer confidence – one month prior to the devaluation of the Thai baht that triggered the regional economic crisis. In June 2003, the Index score for Employment in Hong Kong dropped to a low score of 20.0. This was subsequently reflected in Hong Kong’s unemployment rate, which peaked just before September 2003 at eight percent.
The survey comprising the Asia/Pacific markets began in the first half of 1993 and has been conducted twice yearly since. Markets from the Middle East and Africa were included in the Index from 2004. Twenty five markets now participate in the survey: Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey was conducted from 5 December 2011 to 8February 2012. A total of 12,915 qualified respondents were surveyed in the 25 markets with the sample being representative of the middle and upper income groups in each market.
The Index is calculated based with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral. Five economic factors are measured: Employment, the Economy, Regular Income, Stock Market and Quality of Life. The responses are consumers' thoughts on the six months ahead. Data collection was via internet surveys and face to face interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four to five percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.
The MasterCard Worldwide Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the long-running MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping, Index of Financial Literacy, and the Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).
MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports providing analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 80 Insights reports have been produced since 2004.
MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley & Sons.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.
Tagsconsumer pulse, employment Prospects, stock market, regular income prospects, Middle East, quality of life, Consumer Confidence, economy, consumer confidence
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Oil concerns consequential to a deterioration in some parts of the Middle East
About the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence
MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties
About MasterCard Worldwide