Mena residents see rise in cost of living
Dubai, September 15, 2013
About 71 per cent residents across the region anticipate a rise in the cost of living in their country in the next six months, said a consumer confidence survey report.
The latest Middle East and North Africa (Mena) Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) Survey was conducted by job site Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one job site, and YouGov, a research and consulting organization.
The survey also said that residents in the UAE are mostly positive that their personal financial situation will improve within the same period.
Almost a fifth (19 per cent) of the region’s respondents stated that their financial situation has improved compared to six months ago, with the majority, 43 per cent, claiming that it has remained unchanged, and 29 per cent claiming it has become worse. Half (52 per cent) stated that their savings have decreased in comparison to last year.
In terms of making major purchases, the majority of respondents in all countries surveyed, with the exception of Oman, do not expect to buy a vehicle in the coming 12 months. For those who will be looking to purchase a vehicle, about 48 per cent will buy a used one, compared to 45 per cent who will buy new.
When it comes to property, about 63 per cent of the respondents – the majority in every country covered by the survey – will not be buying in the next 12 months. For the minority that are considering buying, new properties are more desirable than pre-owned, while 50% of respondents want to buy an apartment as opposed to a villa. A fifth (19 per cent) will be looking for commercial property.
About 28 per cent of respondents are planning to purchase a desktop or laptop computer in the next six months. Other popular purchases are anticipated to be furniture and LCD or plasma televisions.
In the UAE, about 72 per cent respondents stated that their personal financial situation is now either the same as, or worse than it was six months ago, with just 22 per cent claiming it has improved.
The majority of respondents across the region (36 per cent) believe that the economy in their country of residence has receded in the last six months, especially so in Syria (84 per cent), Jordan (66 per cent), Lebanon (65 per cent) and Tunisia (63 per cent). The situation is considered to have improved most in Oman and Qatar (43 per cent each), followed by the UAE (39 per cent).
Employment opportunities seem to be the highest in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, followed by Qatar and Oman. While respondents in general anticipate more jobs in the next six months, those in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon anticipate a decrease in opportunities.
“It’s clear to see which countries are currently perceived by residents to be more favourable to live and work in than others; countries within the GCC seem to be preferable for their current economic situations and the business conditions that comes with such. The Levant seems to be less popular at present, most likely influenced by regional political situations,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com.
Data for the quarterly Bayt.com Consumer Confidence Index survey (September 2013) was collected online from July 28-August 15, with 6,585 respondents aged over 18 years, covering the GCC, North Africa, Levant, Western Expatriate and Asian. Countries that participated are UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. - TradeArabia News Service