CAIRO: Consumer confidence in Egypt has risen to 25 percent, according to a recent survey.
The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) shows that Egypt has increased by 0.4 points since last September with those surveyed having positive expectations in regards to the country’s economy.
The most impressive increases came from Bahrain and Qatar, with increasing by 10.4 and 9.4 points respectively.
Having a particularly tumultuous and unstable year, the largest decrease was Lebanon with a staggering decline of 23.1 points.
The CCI is conducted as a way to measure consumer expectations and satisfaction of diverse elements of the economy, including cost of living, job opportunities and inflation.
The quarterly survey is conducted by Bayt.com, a Middle East job site, in conjunction with market research specialists from YouGov Siraj.
Respondents were asked questions ranging from their personal financial circumstances to their comparison of the same period last year.
In Egypt, 31 percent have said their financial conditions have improved in the past year, but 31 percent also reported being in the same situation financially and 29 percent said they are worse off now than the previous year.
Overall in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, 34 percent said their financial position has remained unchanged since last year while about 28 percent said their situation has improved.
According to Amer Zureikat, the vice president of sales at Bayt.com, “The region seems to be stabilizing as we are seeing that countries seem to have the same figures each quarter with the exception of Lebanon who has suffered political instability explaining the country’s highs and lows in terms of consumer confidence. This could mean that the worse of the crisis is indeed over for most of the Middle East.”
Consumers were also asked about their level of optimism towards the future in what forms the Consumer Expectations Index (CEI), which varied from country to country.
Once again, Lebanon showed the largest decrease by dropping 24.7 index points since last quarter.
Egypt showed an increase of 0.5 points while Bahrain reported the largest increase of 10.9 points.
As a whole, most respondents are optimistic for a better financial future in the coming year with almost half (49 percent) believing their personal finances will be better next year.
Only about 8 percent are on the opposite end of the spectrum with the belief that their financial standing will become worse.
Of those surveyed in Egypt, 48 percent said they predict that their personal financial situation will improve in the next year, but 8 percent believe it will become worse.
Respondents in Oman were the most optimistic with a whopping 58 percent reporting that by this time next year, they believe that their financial position will have improved.
In the MENA region overall, 35 percent think that their country’s economy will be better in the next year, 20 percent believe it will remain unchanged and 26 percent are not hopeful and say it will become worse.
The most pessimistic responders came from Egypt with 37 percent believing the country’s economy will become worse in the coming year.
Again, the most optimistic were those surveyed in Oman with 59 percent believing their economy as a whole will improve by next year.
“While it depends on who you ask, I believe that the economy will improve in the next year because the growth rate has improved in the last year so it will continue in that sense,” said Alia El Mahdy, an economics professor at Cairo University.
In terms of job market, only 20 percent of those surveyed in Egypt believe that availability of jobs will improve while 36 percent say it will get worse.