MasterCard Rates Nigerian Consumers' Confidence High


MasterCard Worldwide latest index of consumer confidence has revealed that Nigeria’s consumers’ confidence is  always high.

While the index has recorded a marginal 2.4 point decline from a score of 93.8 a year ago, and a five-point  decline compared to six months ago, the latest result of 91.4 out of a possible 100 shows that Nigeria’s  citizens display continued strong optimism and an extremely high level of confidence in the country’s economy  overall.

Now in its fourth year in Nigeria, the MasterCard Worldwide index of consumer confidence is one of Africa’s  most comprehensive consumer confidence surveys, and is conducted twice yearly. Interestingly, the latest  finding of 91.4 points reflects the precise average of the survey results since its commencement in 2009.

The index is based on a survey which measures consumer confidence on prevailing expectations in the market  for the next six months based on five economic indicators: Economy, Employment, Stock Market, Regular Income  and Quality of Life. The index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic  and 50 as neutral.

The most recent survey was conducted between 24 April and 10 June, this year, and involved 11,376 respondents  aged 18 to 64 across 25 markets spanning the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. On the African  continent, the survey was conducted in Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.

“MasterCard Worldwide carries out this index in order to provide informed understanding in the shifts of  Nigerian consumer sentiment, as well as to assist in the identification of market trends over time,” says  Omokehinde Ojomuyide, Country Manager, West Africa, MasterCard Worldwide.

“Nigerians remain one of the most optimistic groups of consumers among those surveyed by MasterCard on the  continent, with an index score of 91.4 points in this latest set of results – over 12 points higher than the  average of the five African countries surveyed,” says Ojomuyide.

“The high level of confidence in Nigeria’s economy held by its citizens is also supported by the  International Monetary Fund (IMF) that believes booming oil prices and an ambitious reform agenda have helped  Nigeria ride the worst of the global economic downturn. The IMF has forecasted Nigeria’s Gross Domestic  Product (GDP) to grow by 6.9% during 2012,” she continued.

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Compared to Nigeria’s index results six months ago, four of the five indicators: Employment, Economy, Regular  Income, and Quality of Life showed very minor declines of between 0.5% – 3.5%.

However, all four of these indicators remained remarkably positive with each scoring over the 90 point mark.  Regular income, at 97.9 points, was the most optimistic of the five indicators for Nigerians, followed by  Quality of Life with a score of 94.9.

When asked whether they were expecting their regular income to either increase, remain the same or decrease  over the next six months, nearly 92% of Nigerian respondents said that they were expecting it to increase; 6%  said they were expecting it to remain the same and only 2% said that they were expecting it to decrease.

The Stock Market indicator, however, showed a significant decline in confidence of nearly 17 points and was  the indicator with the lowest score of 78.6.

Commenting on the Stock Market indicator, Ojomuyide said: “Even though the Stock Market indicator shows a  noticeable decline and should not be dismissed, the current score is still very optimistic, with nearly seven  out of 10 respondents expecting the Stock Market to improve in the coming months, and a further 13% expecting  it to remain consistent.”

Ojomuyide added: “The highest level which the Nigerian consumer confidence reached was in the second half of  2011 at 96.4 points –which was one of the highest recorded levels of consumer confidence in the 25 markets  surveyed at the time. Even though the most recent results are lower than this, they remain significantly  higher than their lowest level of 83.2 points in the first half of 2010.”

The only African country revealed to be more optimistic than Nigeria in the Index is Morocco, which yielded a  score of 94.1. Egypt, Kenya and South Africa all yielded less optimistic results in the survey.

—Henry Ojelu

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