Friday 25 September 2020

Jonathan Rawling

UAE consumer confidence holds steady in Q1, says study

DUBAI, May 8, 2019

Consumer confidence in the UAE held steady in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019 following the big improvement in sentiment seen in Q4 2018, said yallacompare, a leading comparison site for financial products in the Middle East.

During the first quarter of 2019, yallacompare’s Consumer Confidence Tracker Q1 2019 polled more than 1000 UAE residents on the state of their finances and attitudes towards work. Similarly sized surveys are conducted throughout each quarter of the year.

The Tracker revealed that 21 per cent of respondents feel more confident about their finances than they did 12 months ago. That figure is roughly in line with the 22 per cent that felt more confident in Q4 2018 and well above the 14 per cent that felt more confident in Q3 2018.

The proportion saying they feel less confident dropped to 38.3 per cent in Q1 2019, down from 41 per cent in Q4 2018 and well below the 53 per cent recorded in Q3 2018.

Respondents’ views on the cost of living in the UAE were largely in line with the previous quarter and, again, sentiment is much improved from Q3 2018. Whereas 51 per cent feared they wouldn’t be able to get by in Q3 last year, just 40 per cent felt that way in Q1 2019. More than half (51.8 per cent) said they will be able to get by in Q1 2019, almost the same as in Q4 2018, but well up on 44 per cent in Q3 2018.
The impact of VAT, introduced in 2018 at 5 per cent, is also clearly being absorbed by UAE residents. The proportion declaring themselves unaffected by VAT rose to 31.6 per cent in Q1 2019, up 1.8 per cent percentage points from Q4 2018 and well above the 22.8 per cent reported in Q3 2018.

The proportion saying they are struggling with VAT dropped to 14.8 per cent in Q1, from 16.1 per cent in Q4 2018 and 26.9 per cent in Q3 2018.

The percentage saying they were more likely to leave the UAE because of their finances was largely unchanged from the previous quarter at 23.9 per cent, but well down from Q3 2018 (34.3 per cent).

“It’s clear from the Q1 findings that consumer confidence is holding up after the big improvement we saw at the end of 2018,” said Jonathan Rawling, CFO of yallacompare.

“Consumers are now accustomed to VAT and have factored it into their household budgets. As a result, confidence levels are now back to, or exceeding, where they were at the start of 2018 and we expect to see them stay there for the foreseeable future.” – TradeArabia News Service


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