The 2015 General Consumer Confidence Index in the Economic Performance indicated continued optimism amongst consumers of all demographic and social backgrounds towards the Emirate’s economic conditions, which reflects consumers trust in the capabilities of the emirate’s economy and its ability to cope with current economic challenges and absorb the pressures.
Khalifa bin Salem Al Mansouri, Acting Undersecretary, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) , said that optimism levels recorded amongst consumers in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during 2015, though relatively lower than those of 2014 due to regional and global challenges and effects, are still reasonable. On average, Consumer Confidence Index in the emirate’s economy has scored 126 points in 2015, which reflects continued optimism amongst all segments of Abu Dhabi consumers regarding the emirate’s current and future economic conditions.
He pointed out that in 2015, a combination of local and international factors have affected consumers’ morale and optimism. Such factors include higher inflation levels in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during 2015 and consumers fears over unfavorable developments in the international economy such as the continuous drop in oil prices in international markets and the slowdown in the emerging markets, especially the main ones like China, Russia, Brazil and other exporting countries, in addition to the fluctuations in the global financial markets and their impact on local markets.
"All these factors have had their toll on the outlook and assessment of Abu Dhabi consumers to their own financial status and living standards during 2015. Though such assessment was positive in most cases, these factors have affected the level of optimism in consumers’ expectations for the future," added Al Mansouri.
He indicated that the general performance of the 2015 General Consumer Confidence Index in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, issued by DED’s Studies Directorate within the overall 2015 Economic Performance Report of the emirate, was influenced by the performance of its sub-indexes including the Individual Financial Position Index, Trust Index in Consumer-related Economic Policies, and Consumer Expectations Index regarding future economic conditions. The trends of these indexes have generally scored lower levels than those of 2014 due to the influence of the above-mentioned factors on consumers’ morale.
"This comes in spite of the developments in the global economy and the difficulties facing the major advanced and emerging economies, specially exporting countries, including oil exporters, due to lower global prices. This reflects consumers’ confidence in the ability of the economy of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to cope with prevalent economic challenges. The 2015 Consumer Confidence Index scored less than that of 2014 due to lower scores in all its sub-indexes.
On his part, Mr. Ali Rashed AlZaabi, Acting Executive Director of the ADDED’s Planning and Statistics Division, said that the 2015 Individual Financial Position Index has scored about (111) points on average which indicates a continued positive assessment of individuals of their current conditions in terms of job opportunities and income.
Regarding the Confidence in Policies Index, which monitors consumers’ confidence in government policies related to their living conditions, Mr. AlZaabi said that in 2015 it scored (105) points on average, which reflects continued confidence in the economic policies that aim to sustain the living conditions enjoyed by the emirate’s population and a positive view of the effect of government measures related to the customer.
On average, the Future Expectations Index, he said, scored about (157) points in 2015, which reflects sustainable feeling of optimism towards future economic conditions amongst consumers in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. However, it was less than its value in 2014 as consumer expectations were affected by the concerns about the performance of some key economies in the world and future trends of the growth in prices in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in light of inflation rates recorded in 2015.
Mr. AlZaabi added that if we go by employment, the general trend of the Consumer Confidence Index during 2015 indicated continued optimism amongst employed and unemployed consumers. However, the optimism amongst employed consumers in 2015 was higher at 127 points on average while it was 123 points amongst unemployed consumers.
He noted that if we go by business sectors, the general index trends of consumer confidence showed optimism amongst employees of all sectors in 2015, where the general index recorded about 134 points on average for both the government sector and the joint sector, whereas it scored about 125 points in the private sector.
Going by nationality, Mr. AlZaabi said that the results of the general Consumer Confidence Index in 2015 indicated a continued state of confidence amongst individual consumers of all nationalities. Optimism amongst UAE nationals, however, was higher in 2015 than their expat counterparts, recording 140 points on average while it scored 121 points on average amongst non-locals.
He explained that this reflects that the UAE nationals’ assessment of their financial position was more positively compared to others, in addition to their expectations that were more optimistic than that of expatriates. However, he noted that optimism levels were lower in 2015 than 2014 amongst local and expatriate consumers alike, which reflects, to different degrees, the influence on the two groups by the internal and external economic developments.