Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; November 10, 2016
Consumer confidence in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) falls at the optimism baseline as the index decreased by four points from the previous quarter, according to the latest consumer confidence report from Nielsen. The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions recorded a Consumer Confidence Index of 100 for KSA in Q3 2016, down from 104 in Q2 2016. Despite the decline, KSA is amongst the 16 countries globally to reach or exceed the optimism benchmark.
Consumers’ outlook on personal financial situation was a major contributor to declining confidence; just over half of KSA respondents (56%) feel favorable about the state of their personal finance over the next twelve months, a drop of eight percentage points from the previous quarter. The number of consumers feeling positive about the outlook on their job prospects declined four percentage points to 46% quarter-on-quarter, while the proportion of consumers who believe the coming 12 months will be a good time to buy the things they need and want increased slightly by two percentage points to 47% from the second quarter.
More than one third of KSA respondents (45%) cited job security as their biggest or second biggest concern over the next 12 months. Job concerns were followed by worries about the economy (26%) and parents’ welfare and happiness (16%).
“The still-low oil prices have taken its toll on government revenues with fiscal deficit weighing on the country’s economic growth. Although there has been a slowdown in growth, KSA’s confidence has proven to be fairly resilient as it maintained solid footing with indexes at or above optimism baseline for at least the past 10 quarters,” said Arslan Ashraf, managing director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan. “In spite of the decrease in confidence, there are some segments of consumers that are still upbeat about spending across a few lifestyle areas such as new clothing and technology products.”
Established in 2005, the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index is fielded quarterly in 63 countries to measure the perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances, immediate spending intentions and related economic issues of real consumers around the world. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.
GLOBAL CONSUMER CONFIDENCE SCORES REFLECT ECONOMIC DIVERSITY AROUND THE WORLD
These are uncertain times and third quarter Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index scores varied dramatically region to region, demonstrating considerable economic diversity around the world. In Asia-Pacific, consumer confidence scores ranged from a high of 133 to a low of 46, with similar divergent scores in Europe (from 107 to 50), Latin America (from 104 to 57) and Africa/Middle East (from 108 to 70). In North America, however, confidence scores were more closely aligned in the U.S. (106) and Canada (97).
Notable global highlights include:
● Global consumer confidence increased one point from the second quarter to a score of 99.
● Confidence gains were seen throughout most measured markets in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Europe. Meanwhile, confidence decreased in four of six Africa/Middle East markets and in one of two North American markets.
● Five of the world’s top 10 economies posted optimistic scores of 100 or higher: U.S. (106), China (106), U.K. (106), Germany (100) and India (133).
● Concerns about terrorism increased across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific in the third quarter.
● In Europe, consumer confidence improved in 26 of 34 measured markets from the second quarter. The U.K.’s score increased eight points.
● In Asia-Pacific, confidence increased in 10 of 14 countries, while four markets were flat from the second quarter. Robust improvements came from Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.
● In Latin America, confidence increased in six of seven markets, including Brazil, which posted its first upswing in two years.
● In the Africa/Middle East region, South Africa posted a solid confidence increase of nine points.
Confidence DECLINED IN FOUR OF SIX AFRICA/MIDDLES EAST MARKETS
In the six Africa/Middle East countries measured, confidence scores ranged from a high of 108 in the United Arab Emirates (a one-point decrease from the second quarter) to a low of 70 in Egypt (an 11-point decrease). Pakistan (101) and Saudi Arabia (100) posted confidence scores at or just above the optimism baseline despite declines of three and four points, respectively, from the second quarter. The most robust confidence increase in the region came from South Africa with a nine-point rise to 87. Morocco’s confidence also increased, rising six points to 89 in the third quarter.
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ABOUT THE NIELSEN GLOBAL SURVEY OF CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AND SPENDING INTENTIONS
The third-quarter online survey was conducted Aug. 10–Sept. 2, 2016. The findings in this survey are based on an online methodology in 63 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration is still growing, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Three sub-Saharan African countries (Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria) utilize a mobile survey methodology and are not included in the global or Middle East/Africa averages discussed throughout this report. In addition, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data. Cultural differences in reporting sentiment are likely factors in the measurement of economic outlook across countries. The reported results do not attempt to control or correct for these differences; therefore, caution should be exercised when comparing across countries and regions, particularly across regional boundaries.
Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. The Company’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Nielsen Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
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