Shoppers at the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Consumers in the UAE — and even the rest of the region — were nowhere near as optimistic as shoppers in North America during the third quarter. In fact, consumer confidence actually dipped by five points from the second quarter, according to the latest Nielsen survey.

There were many reasons for the downbeat sentiments — it was brought on “partially due to increasing inflationary pressures that are diminishing households’ purchasing power”, Nielsen reports. Consumers’ outlook on job prospects, however, remained unchanged from the previous quarter. And they even felt more secure about personal finances. The survey finds 62 per cent of consumers being optimistic about job prospects, while 67 per cent felt secure enough about their personal finances, up 3 per cent from Q2-18.

But there was still “less willingness to spend, signifying continued cautiousness in spending”, the report adds.

Consumer confidence in [the third quarter of 2018] signals a precarious sentiment, dropping five points compared to the previous quarter, but closer to the levels measured at the beginning of the year.

- Andrey Dvoychenkov | Managing director of Nielsen, Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan

“Living with volatility and shopping opportunistically are the new faces of consumers,” said Andrey Dvoychenkov, Managing Director Nielsen, Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan. “Consumer confidence in Q3-18 signals a precarious sentiment, dropping five points compared to the previous quarter, but closer to the levels measured at the beginning of the year.”

62%

of UAE consumers optimistic about job prospects

The Nielsen report suggests that some of the confidence and job boosting measures the government has been taking will help tone up sentiments at some point down the line. “The UAE continues to be among the topmost confident nations globally, with significantly higher levels of consumer optimism regarding their perceptions of job prospects and personal finances,” said Dvoychenkov. “We foresee the business-friendly reforms recently announced to continue to support the favourable outlook.”

Comparative basis

■ Consumer confidence scores across North America held steady at 121 and at a “historically high level”.

■ Consumer confidence scores across North America held steady at 121 and at a “historically high level”. A score of 100 is set as the base.

■ But European shoppers had a completely different sentiment, as recorded in the Nielsen survey. Their score was at 87, and making it the “least confident” region in the world.