Despite the prevailing uncertainty regarding the economy, the general consumer confidence index and its sub-indices inched up during January, according to a report conducted by the Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC).
The IDSC’s monthly report measures consumer confidence on economic policies and consumer opinion of the future through questions across three main areas: The household income level, confidence in economic policies, and quality of life improvement expectations.
The general index, which consolidates the three previous indicators, reached 87.4 points in January, up 4.9% from December, indicating public optimism in the economy.
The increase was due to the positive trend of two of the sub-indices: Confidence in economic policies, which increased by 19.3% from last month settling at 72.8 points; and expectation of improvement in quality of life, which rose by 4.9% to 142.2 points.
The household income level index dipped however in January by 11.3% to 46.9 points. The decline was attributed to the decrease in the percentage of those who said they could afford to buy durable goods; 18.9% compared to 20.1% in December.
The raise in confidence in economic policies reflected an increase in the percentage of respondents who felt that the economic situation this year was better than last year; from 8.5% in December to 11.4% last month.
The quality of life expectation index rose, keeping the highest score among the three sub-indices, revealing an increase in the percentage of those surveyed who expected the economic situation of the country to improve. In December 39.1% were optimistic, this rose to 42.7% in January.
The report showed that the middle age segment was the most optimistic. The ‘30-50’ age bracket reached 93.8 points in January with a 15% increase compared to last month, while the ‘18-30’ age brackets stood at 84.3 points. Optimism was at its lowest among the eldest, ‘50+’ age category, which stood at 81.5 points, down 4.5 from December.
The highly educated were the most optimistic at 93 points, up 11.8% from last month, followed by the illiterate whose index reached 89.1 points. Government employees were the most confident, on 97.4 points up 3.6% from December, followed by public sector employees who scored 95.4 points up 23.4% from last month.
The survey covered 1,000 men and women aged 18 years or older, each representing a household, through telephone interviews.
Scores were given on a range from 0 to 200. Above 100 indicated a positive evaluation of the queried subject, while scores below 100 showed a negative evaluation.