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Middle East Consumer Confidence ‘Remains Very High’: MasterCard

Middle East : 27 July 2012

Source-The Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH – Consumers remain upbeat about the region’s future and its financial condition, the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, released Saturday revealed.

The aggregate Consumer Confidence score for the Middle East is very optimistic at 83.5.

The survey, conducted among 11,367 respondents between 24 April 2012 and 10 June 2012 in 25 countries, recorded a very optimistic score for Middle East consumer confidence, bringing the index to (83.5), significantly higher than Africa (76.1) and Asia/Pacific (57.2).

In the Middle East, Qatar topped the index with a remarkable score (96.6); followed by Oman (91.5), Saudi Arabia (90.9), Egypt (90.7), United Arab Emirates (86) and Lebanon (44.3). The score for Egypt is at a record high (90.7), highlighting the positive sentiment among consumers amid the country’s recent political changes. India (82.1) was ranked as the most optimistic nation in Asia, whilst Morocco (94.1) moved past Nigeria (91.4) to gain the top spot in Africa.

Consumer confidence in the Middle East is very optimistic at 83.5, and this sentiment is reflected across all five indicators. When compared to the previous edition of the Index released 6 months ago, respondents in the Middle East are most optimistic about Regular Income (89.8 vs. 91.3), Employment (85.5 vs. 85.5) and the Economy (84.4 vs. 86.5). Consumer sentiment toward Quality of Life (82.9 vs. 87.6) and the Stock Market (74.9 vs. 77.8) is also positive.

The Middle East’s aggregate score of 83.5 remains higher than that of Asia/ Pacific (57.2) and Africa (76.1).

“The consumer confidence score for Kuwait has remained consistently high for the last few years, in part due to its bullish economy. This sentiment is supported by analysts’ expectations that Kuwait is projected to post the largest surplus of GDP for the current fiscal year,” said Safdar Khan, market manager, Qatar, Oman & Kuwait, MasterCard Worldwide.

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.

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