According to MasterCard’s latest Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, regional consumers remain upbeat about the Middle East’s future and its financial condition. The aggregate Consumer Confidence score for the member countries places the region in the very optimistic area as it stood at 83.5.
The survey, conducted among 11,367 respondents between April 2012 and 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). 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.
In the Middle East, Qatar topped regional peers with a score of 96.6. It was followed by Morocco with 94.1, Oman with 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 thus highlighting the positive sentiment among consumers amid the country’s recent political changes.
Consumers in the Middle East are very optimistic 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 more optimistic about regular income (89.8 versus 91.3), then employment (85.5 versus 85.5) and the economy (84.4 vs. 86.5). Consumer sentiment toward quality of life (82.9 versus 87.6) and the stock market (74.9 versus. 77.8) is also positive.
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.
MasterCard, Bank Audi's Group Research Department