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UAE consumer confidence sees small decline in second quarter of 2019

Consumer confidence in the UAE declined slightly in the second quarter of 2019 compared with the previous quarter. That’s according to the Consumer Confidence Tracker Q2 2019 from yallacompare, the Middle East’s leading comparison site for financial products. During the second quarter of 2019, the Tracker 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 Consumer Confidence Tracker Q2 2019 reveals that 19.9% of respondents feel more confident about their finances than they did 12 months ago. That figure compares with 21% who felt the same way in Q1 2019 and 22.2% who felt the same way in Q4 2018. The proportion of respondents feeling less confident about their finances increased to 42.7% in Q2 2019, compared with 38.3% in Q1 2019.

“There was a slight fall in overall confidence in Q2 after increases in the preceding two quarters,” said Jonathan Rawling, CFO of yallacompare. “It should be noted that the Q2 confidence level is still well above the low of 14% that we saw in Q3 2018 and represents a small decline over the prior quarter. I think it’s too early to say that this lower level of overall confidence signals a new trend.”

Respondents’ slightly lower levels of confidence in Q2 may reflect renewed worries over the cost of living. The proportion that said they were concerned about inflation, but thought they could cope with it, declined from 51.8% in Q1 to 49.5% in Q2. The number concerned they might not be able to deal with inflation rose from 40% in Q1 to 43.9% in Q2.

The number with more credit card debt than a year ago increased from 18.2% in Q1 to 21.3% in Q2. More than 21% have more loan debt than a year ago, compared with 18.8% in Q1.

Asked whether or not their finances would impact their ability to stay on in the UAE, residents gave mixed responses. In Q2, 25.3% said they’re more likely to leave the UAE for financial reasons, compared with 23.9% in Q1. At the same time, 45.6% said they’re less likely to leave the UAE because of money worries, more than the 44.8% who said the same thing in Q1.

“There has been a slight uptick in card and loan debt as consumers find themselves spending more than they would like,” said Rawling. “We don’t yet know if this is a temporary aberration, or a sign of renewed inflationary pressures. While more people say they might leave the UAE because of cost of living pressures, it’s notable that many more are saying they won’t.”

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