x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Poll finds mixed views on economy

In a new survey on consumer confidence, Bayt.com and YouGov find that people in the UAE have many misgivings about their jobs and finances but are guardedly optimistic about the future.

About half the people living in the UAE are optimistic about the country's economy and their own financial futures, but a vast majority lament that their salaries are not keeping pace with the cost of living, according to a survey by Bayt.com and YouGov.

According to the quarterly Mena Consumer Confidence Index released yesterday, 49 per cent of respondents said they expected their finances to improve in the next year. And 51 per cent said better times were in store for the UAE's economy.Those mixed feelings were coupled with negativity about jobs, however, with only about a third of people saying they thought the number of jobs available would increase in the next year.

Further, a vast majority of respondents said their incomes were not matching rising living costs after a year in which 68 per cent said their financial situations stayed the same or worsened.

Just 13 per cent said they were happy with their current jobs, with nearly all of the remainder either neutral or displeased about their careers.

"The overall feeling is that while the coming year will be favourable for business and corporations, this may not necessarily reflect on employees' benefits," said Amer Zureikat, the vice president of sales at Bayt.com.

Against that backdrop, just 17 per cent of UAE residents said this was a good time to make large outlays on items such as cars and property. Almost half were "neutral" about buying in the next year.

Bayt.com, a jobs website, conducted the online survey in partnership with the research company YouGov between June 1 and July 17.

The sample consisted of 7,245 respondents over 18 years old from across the Middle East and a multitude of nationalities.

afitch@thenational.ae