RIYADH — Over four in 10 local respondents expect the business conditions in Saudi Arabia to “improve” within the next year, the latest results from the Middle East Consumer Confidence Index survey carried out by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one job site, and YouGov, research and consulting organization, showed.
Forty three percent of respondents in Saudi Arabia believe that the country’s economy has either “improved” or “remained at the same level” during the past six months. When asked about future expectations, 36% of Saudi respondents said that they are optimistic about the economy improving. Twenty three percent of respondents expect the economy to “remain the same.”
When it comes to current business conditions, a quarter of respondents believe that the business conditions are either “good” or “very good,” 35% believe that the conditions are “average.” Saudi respondents are quite optimistic about business conditions within the next year, where 43% of them believe that the conditions will “improve.” Twenty two percent expect business conditions to “remain the same.”
More than half (53%) of Saudi respondents believe that their current financial position is now “better” or the “same as six months ago.” When it comes to future expectations, (37%) of Saudi respondents expect that their financial situation will “improve” in the next six months, and 23% believe that it will “remain the same as it is now.” Only 21% of respondents say that it could become worse.
Looking at residents’ opinions on the cost of living in Saudi Arabia, a considerable proportion of respondents (73%) expect the cost of living to “increase” in the next six months, compared to 14% who believe that it will “remain the same” and 6% who believe that it will “decrease.”
“As the leading job site in the Middle East, we find it vital to provide all professionals with insights on the economic and financial conditions and how they connect to the job market and availability of career opportunities,” said Suhail Masri, Vice President of Employer Solutions, Bayt.com. “We want to always empower professionals, job seekers and employers alike, to address and overcome any economic changes and make room for improvements in their careers. Employers who are invested in attracting, hiring, and retaining quality talent, who help them maximize productivity, will find our tools, such as CV Search and Job Postings, to be exactly what they need. Similarly, job seekers who stand in face of tough competition will make use of over 10,000 jobs that are available on Bayt.com on any given day as well as the numerous job search tools and resources that help make them stronger candidates.”
When it comes to future spending and investment plans, 28% of Saudi respondents claim that they are planning to buy a vehicle for personal use in the next 12 months. Of those who are planning to purchase a vehicle, 55% are planning to buy a new one, while 32% are planning to buy a used one.
Respondents were asked about their plans to invest in property, 23% of Saudi respondents say that they are planning to purchase property in the next 12 months. Of those who are planning on making a property investment, 58% will be looking to buy a new property, while 22% plan to invest in a pre-owned property. In terms of the type of property, over one third of Saudi respondents are planning to purchase an apartment (38%), while 28% will buy a villa/townhouse/bungalow and 28% plan to invest in commercial property.
Regarding purchasing plans for consumer goods, one in five respondents (21%) from Saudi Arabia plan to buy furniture within the next six months, 18% plan to purchase a desktop or a laptop, and 16% plan to buy a tablet or a smartphone.
Arleen Gonsalves, Associate Research Manager, YouGov, said: “It is important for us to regularly conduct thorough research regarding consumer sentiments and opinions and share that information with the region. The Middle East Consumer Confidence Index survey gives us many insights into the personal, business and economic conditions of the region. For instance, the majority of respondents are anticipating an increase in the cost of living and perhaps that signals a need to re-evaluate the stability of personal finances and plan income sources accordingly.”