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Most UAE consumers confident about personal finances, business conditions

New poll looks at what residents think about business conditions, hiring situation, state of finances

Image Credit: Gulf News archive/Megan Hirons Mahon
Consumer optimism towards jobs, money can have a positive impact on economy.

Dubai: With the economic climate looking better, most UAE residents are now upbeat about the state of their personal finances and the availability of jobs.

New research shows nearly seven in ten (63 per cent) people in the UAE are confident that their financial position, including their family’s, will improve in the next six months, up from 56 per cent who said the same thing in the previous poll.

With regards to sentiments toward employment, there are more residents who believe that “plenty of jobs” are “available across various industries” than those who claim that jobs are hard to come by.

The study, conducted by over a 24-day period in August, also found that the large majority of people in the UAE (82 per cent) think that the current business conditions are either “good”, “very good” or “average”. 

A significant number (74 per cent) are likewise expecting conditions to improve, compared to 9 per cent who said things could get worse and 17 per cent who said the situation will remain the same. This is a huge improvement from the previous survey, when only 58 per cent were expecting businesses to perform better.

Results of the latest study mirror earlier reports by banking and market intelligence experts, and indicate that many residents are feeling better about the hiring situation or economic conditions in general, although some analysts are saying that things aren’t completely out of the woods just yet.

Emirates NBD reported that the “ongoing upturn in new business” has resulted in hiring across companies in the UAE’s non-oil private sector.

“A sharp rise in business activity also contributed to the overall improvement… Firms commented on favourable economic conditions,” the bank said early this month.

The latest research by Nielsen also found that consumer confidence index for the UAE ticked up by two points in the second quarter, reaching an index score of 110, the highest in the region. Arslan Ashraf, Nielsen managing director for Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan, said the new index shows early signs of recovery from the fall last year.”

“Although not completely out of the woods, but the trend is going on a positive track,” he said, adding that more consumers intend to open their wallets, as indicated by the rise in discretionary spending intentions, further validating that “there is a growing sense of improving consumer sentiment in the country.”

In the area of job satisfaction, half of UAE respondents said they are satisfied towards their career growth opportunities. A smaller number (48 per cent) said they are satisfied with their work-life balance.

In terms of salary increase expectations, 47 per cent believe that their income will improve in the next six months, while 38 per cent said they’re not expecting any positive adjustments. A small number (15 per cent) said they expect their compensation to “get worse”.

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