The Consumer Confidence Index in Dubai improved 15 points to 125 over the last quarter of 2011 compared to the third quarter of the same year, according to the Department of Economic Development (DED).
The number of consumers optimistic of economic recovery over the next 12 months increased by 22 per cent in Q4 compared to Q3, while 79 per cent of consumers had a positive outlook on personal finance, and 70 per cent see the job situation improving over the same period.
Perceptions on the state of economy also showed a clear improvement during Q4 with more than 60 per cent of the consumers expressing confidence. Public sector employees are more positive about job prospects and personal finance and two-third of the consumers feel that this is a good time to buy things they want.
The economy and increasing food prices are the topmost concerns for consumers, while increasing utility bills and job security come next.
“The CCI is intended to provide a realistic assessment of consumer perceptions on economic changes as well as their future intentions and expectations. A clear understanding of consumer response to economic conditions and their expectations will help governments and business owners in economic planning and decision-making as well as in enhancing transparency and overall business competitiveness in Dubai,” said Sami Al Qamzi, director-general of DED.
“The index showed that 41 per cent of consumers tend to spend on new clothes and on outdoor entertainment. A 13 per cent increase is also seen in the number of consumers spending on new products and technology compared to the third quarter of 2011. Majority of consumers plan to reduce phone and energy bills in 2012,” added Bushahab.
Mohammed Lootah, deputy CEO of the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division, said: “The quarterly Consumer Confidence Index will help retailers, banks, construction companies, and other critical players in Dubai’s economy to plan ahead and retain the flexibility to adapt to changes in economic conditions and consumer sentiment. Consumer confidence is a clear indicator of business competitiveness and follows from the knowledge that the rights of the consumer are guaranteed and protected by law.”
The Q4 Consumer Confidence Index process targetted different categories of consumers, 70 per cent of whom were male and the rest female, residing in 35 areas in Dubai and aged between 20 and 59. Citizens as well as Arab, Asian and Western expatriates with diverse jobs in the private, public sectors and semi-government were included in the process. They were posed three questions regarding perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and suitability of making purchases over the coming 12 months.
The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division of DED developed and conducted the quarterly consumer confidence surveys in co-operation with a global market research firm.