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Posted On: 18 June 2008 09:28 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:08 pm

Qatar second on Mideast consumer confidence index

Khalifa Al Haroon
Khalifa Al Haroon
Your friendly neighborhood Qatari
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CONSUMER confidence in Qatar remains high in a MasterCard indicative survey with some 400 respondents expressing ‘optimism’ about employment, economy, regular income and quality of life in the country in the next six months. In the first measurement for this market by MasterCard, the index results showed consumer confidence in Qatar “going strong” at 88.6. Overall consumer confidence across the Middle East & Levant (ME&L) has slightly decreased, influenced likely by the global economic slowdown, subprime crisis, increasing oil prices and rising inflation, it said. Shaun Rashid, senior business leader, said some 400 respondents in the 18 to 64 age group in Qatar were interviewed as part of the survey in March and April. Only those who availed of banking services with either a debit or credit card were interviewed. Commissioned by MasterCard Worldwide and conducted bi-annually in select markets in South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA), the survey analyses consumers’ perceptions of economic conditions over the next six months. The scores, ranging from 0 to 100, are based on responses to five variables - employment, economy, regular income, stock market and quality of life. A score of 50 represents the mid-point. A score above 50 indicates that consumers are optimistic about the economic climate, while a score below 50 signals that consumer are pessimistic about the economic situation. The markets surveyed were Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, India and South Africa. “Indications for Qatar are that consumer sentiment is overall positive and optimistic,” he said. The index highlights the Qatar market has a high-level of confidence (88.6). Consumers are very highly optimistic about employment (98.8), economy (91.7), regular income (94.5) and quality of life (94.8). They are, however, only “just somewhat optimistic” about the stock market (63.0). On a market basis, Qatar, which was surveyed for the first time, ranked second with an index score of 88.6. Kuwait remains highly optimistic but a little less so than six month ago (89.4 vs 93.3). However, it still tops the list with the highest consumer confidence, MasterCard said. Interestingly, Bayt.com in association with YouGovSiraj recently said consumer confidence appeared to have eroded in Qatar. According to them consumer confidence index (CCI) dipped by seven points between January and May. Although Qatar is witnessing a boom in the job sector, some 59% of the 338 respondents in the country felt that salary had not kept pace with the cost of living, Bayt.com and YouGovSiraj survey said. GT