March 12, 2013
Study Shows UAE Consumers ‘Extremely Optimistic’
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Dubai, 12 March 2013 – MasterCard has revealed the results of the latest MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence, which indicates that Consumer Confidence in the UAE is steadily rising, with a score of 91.4 as compared to 86.0 in the previous edition of the Index released 6 months ago.
Consumers in the UAE are ‘extremely optimistic’ in their overall consumer confidence score, and are positive about all five indicators measured in the Index. When compared to the previous edition of the survey, consumers are more optimistic about Quality of Life (95.6 vs. 88.6), Employment (95.2 vs. 88.9), Economy (94.6 vs. 89.1) and the Stock Market (86.9 vs. 77.0). Consumers also remain very optimistic about Regular Income (84.7 vs. 86.2), despite a slight decrease in its score when compared to 6 months ago.
The latest findings indicate that female respondents and male respondents are equally positive about the coming months (91.4), but that consumers under the age of 30 years (94.6) are more optimistic than older respondents (90.4).
“Consumer confidence levels in the UAE have been steadily increasing in our most recent indices, reflecting a positive outlook for key sectors and confidence in the UAE’s plans and vision for the coming years,” said Eyad Al-Kourdi, UAE country manager, MasterCard.
Across the Middle East, the consumer confidence level remains very optimistic at an average score of 81.1, with encouraging scores for all five indicators. When compared to the previous edition of the Index released 6 months ago, consumers are most optimistic about Regular Income (85.1 vs. 89.8), Employment (80.8 vs. 85.5), Economy (80.0 vs. 84.4), Stock Market (79.9 vs. 74.9) and Quality of Life (79.9 vs. 82.9).
In the Middle East, consumer confidence remains the highest in Qatar, with a score of 96.5. Qatar is followed by Kuwait (95.8), Oman (95.6), Saudi Arabia (95.2) the UAE (91.4), Egypt (66.6) and Lebanon (26.8).
The Middle East’s aggregate score of 81.1 remains higher than that of Asia/Pacific (59.7) and Africa (69.6), as was the case in the previous survey.
The MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence (“Index”) is based on a survey conducted between 7 November to 23 December 2012 on 11,339 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 25 countries within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. This is the 40th survey of Consumer Confidence conducted since 1993. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance
|MARKETS||1H 2013||2H 2012||1H 2012||2H 2011||1H 2011||2H 2010||1H 2010||2H 2009|
|Total Middle East||81.1||83.5||85.7||82.8||72.4||70.1||74.1||52.5|
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 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 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 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 Index of Consumer Confidence survey was conducted from 7 November to 23 December 2012. A total of 11,339 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.
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