Abu Dhabi markets
The Abu Dhabi general consumer confidence in economic performance index in 2013 registered 135 points, up by 10 per cent compared to 2012, as the Individual Financial Conditions sub-index scored 116 points, up by 6.64 per cent compared
to 2012, while the Confidence in Government Policies Index finished with 127 points, increasing by 10 per cent compared to 2012.
The Future Expectation sub-index stood at 162 points, up by 14 percent compared to 2012.
This rise was due to the feeling of consumers and respondents that the financial conditions were better for them and their families in 2013 than 2012, indicated by the financial conditions index registering 116 points in 2013, compared to 109.8 points in 2012.
This was highlighted by the results of the Abu Dhabi Confidence in Economic Performance Index, released by the Studies Directorate of the Department of Economic Development for the year 2013. The results pointed out that the UAE ranked first in Middle East and North Africa and fifth globally according to the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending for the fourth quarter of 2013, as the UAE scored 110 points, ahead of Canada, 13th, the United States, 21st and Norway, 22nd.
The general index in 2013 witnessed improvement in all consumer confidence sub-indices in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Results revealed that consumers were optimistic about the decisions on price control mechanisms and the effective role which the Department of Consumer Protection played at the local and federal levels, to control fraudulent goods and organise anti-commercial fraud exhibitions.
According to the results of the index, the Department of Economic Development confiscated 139,000 articles of counterfeit goods between January and November 2013, and filed 89 charges against sellers of counterfeit goods for violating Federal Law No. 4 of 1979, Concerning the Suppression of Fraud and Deception in Commercial Transactions.
Confiscated counterfeit items included 37,615 items of cosmetics, skin and hair care products, 2522 electronic, electrical devices and phones, 22 tobacco and food products items, 6396 items of auto parts and accessories, 63,000 items of sanitary ware and building materials and 33 items of gold and gems.
The estimated market value of seized counterfeit goods was over AED34 million.
During 2013, some logical declines in the value of the general index occurred and affected its normal course but by comparing the index performance in 2013 to 2012, it was noticed that consumers were more optimistic in 2013 due to many factors, particularly the rise in future expectations by 14 percent in 2013, as optimism about employment opportunities increased, along with optimism about economic conditions, and positive expectations of individual financial conditions.
The individual financial conditions index climbed during 2013 to register 116 points on average, compared to 109.8 points on average in 2012, and had not seen any drop below neutrality, 100 points, during both 2012 and 2013. During most of 2013, levels of confidence and optimism were high, compared to the levels of optimism shown by individuals and consumers since April 2009.
During December 2013, the individual financial conditions sub index scored 133 points, the highest value of the index in the whole year.
The level of optimism about consumer and individual future financial conditions was high, as the index stood at nearly 180 points in December 2013, compared to 175 points in December 2012.
After high levels of confidence of individuals about the future in 2013 compared to 2012, it was noted that the levels of confidence about the future conditions in general remain high, due to rising confidence among respondents about the economy of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, as well as their trust in formulated policies and decision makers.
Moreover, Abu Dhabi's position as a safe and secure haven for investments, compared to many other countries, increased a sense of confidence among individuals, as well as the achievements, ambitious plans, and soundness of the economy of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which make the emirate largely immune to the economic turmoil experienced by developed countries in particular. This was reflected in the significant improvement in the performance of the Confidence in Government Policies sub-index.
Sub-index. The Confidence in Government Policies index during the current year added 10 more points compared to 2012, scoring approximately 127 points on average in 2013 compared to 117 points on average during 2012, reflecting the perception of respondents of various nationalities of the considerable efforts made by the Government of Abu Dhabi to provide a dignified life for individuals and the efforts of the government to accelerate the pace of economic growth, for the benefit of all citizens and residents.
As for future expectations, the index was higher in 2013 compared to 2012 as it scored 161.6 points on average in 2013 compared to 147.4 points on average in 2012.
The index results reflected high levels of optimism about the future conditions for the economy of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, where individuals and consumers expected a significant improvement in the pace of overall economic performance in 2013, as well as their expectations about provision of more job opportunities and the improvement of their financial conditions in particular.
The results also showed high levels of optimism among UAE citizens and consumers in 2013 compared to 2012. Optimism was higher among UAE national citizens, 144 points, compared to non-national residents, 132 points, amid higher expectations of UAE nationals for improvement of financial conditions for them and their families during the three months following the survey.
By comparing the latest results to the results of the previous version of the survey, it was found that consumers were more optimistic about the economy, employment, fixed income, and the stock market.
Consumers were also very optimistic about the standard of living.
Latest results indicated that women participating in the survey showed greater optimism than men, with regard to the expectations in the coming months, while consumers over 30 years of age were more optimistic than younger participants.
The MasterCard Consumer Confidence Index has demonstrated that consumer confidence has witnessed steady growth in the UAE. The high levels attained are spurred by the wise leadership's ambitious plans, in addition to promising growth in key sectors such as tourism, logistics, aviation and the high value of assets, instilling confidence and optimism among the people of the UAE