RESULTS of the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey for the first half of 2011, have revealed that Nigerian consumer confidence remains highly optimistic.
The MasterCard Index recorded a notable 12.7 per cent year-on-year increase from a score of 83.2 a year ago, to a very positive current score of 93.8.
Now in its third year in Nigeria, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the region’s most comprehensive consumer confidence survey. Carried out twice a year, 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 latest survey was conducted from the 15th March to 27th April 2011 and involved 17,620 consumers from 24 markets across the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. Data collection was via Internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.
“The notable increase of nearly 13 per cent compared to the 83.2 that the market scored a year ago clearly indicates that Nigerians are approaching the next six months with a strong sense of optimism,” says Daniel Monehin, Area Head, East & West Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, MasterCard Worldwide.
“Nigeria is predicted to overtake South Africa as the largest economy on the continent by as soon as 2023,” says Dr. Roelof Botha, independent economic analyst. “This forecast has been widely publicised in Nigeria, and along with several other noteworthy developments in the market, has undoubtedly contributed to a new sense of national pride as Nigerians anticipate their status as a regional and global economic force in the years to come. The MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence is clearly reflecting this, as other studies conducted by the World Bank, Morgan Stanley and the Africa Business Panel.”
Compared to Nigeria’s Index results six months ago, two of the five indicators, Regular Income and Employment - increased marginally by 0.6 points each, while consumer sentiment on the Economy remained unchanged. However, these gains were offset by the Quality of Life and Stock Market indicators that both declined by 1.7 points.
Regular income at 99.0 points was the most optimistic of the five indicators for Nigerians, followed by Quality of Life with a score of 97.5.
When asked whether they were expecting their regular income to either increase, remain the same or decrease over the next six months, nearly 93 per cent of Nigerian respondents said that they were expecting it to increase, 7 per cent said they were expecting it to remain the same and only one per cent said that they were expecting it to decrease.
These responses are based on two strong contributing factors, Botha points out. “The Nigerian government recently legislated that the market’s minimum wage should increase by 140 per cent. While there were initially some concerns at the inflationary impact of this increase, Nigeria’s consumer price index (CPI) has been lowered over the last two years, while food price inflation has been curbed by a rise in agricultural output.”
Furthermore, substantial investment from several multinational companies has boosted employment prospects, with several more companies seeking to introduce or expand their production facilities in Nigeria in the coming months.
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