Consumer confidence dips three-points in third quarter

Staff Reporter

Karachi—Consumer confidence in Pakistan dropped from an index of 104 to 101 in the third quarter, according to the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions. Pakistan’s confidence, which was previously on an upward trajectory since 2008, reached and maintained at its highest level in the first two quarters of 2016, has now taken a dip with a three-point decline.
One of the confidence indicators remained flat while the other two slumped as compared to the previous quarter, causing a decline in the index. Outlook for jobs remain unchanged at 47% while personal finance sentiment was down by four percentage points (64%) and immediate spending intentions (44%) dropped one percentage point from the previous quarter. Job security was the biggest or second biggest concern for 34% of Pakistan respondents.
This was followed by concerns for parents’ welfare and happiness (24%), which was up three percentage points from the second quarter as well as worry about work/life balance (22%) and children’s education and/or welfare (22%); both concerns showed no change from the last quarter. “The latest findings reveal that recessionary sentiment has lessened,however, the escalation of domestic and geopolitical issues have taken its toll on consumer confidence,” said Arslan Ashraf, Managing Director, Nielsen Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan. “In spite of the current developments, consumers are still optimistic about the economy andPakistan is amongst the 16 countries globally to reach or exceed the optimism benchmark. 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.
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). 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. 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.

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