Consumers expect economic recovery post-lockdown

September 23, 2020

KARACHI: Consumers in Pakistan believe that the economic condition has deteriorated in the past six months, although they expect easing of lockdown to yield positive results for household income and...

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KARACHI: Consumers in Pakistan believe that the economic condition has deteriorated in the past six months, although they expect easing of lockdown to yield positive results for household income and employment, a global data and analytics company said on Tuesday.

Overall consumer confidence index remained pessimistic and flat in surveys conducted by Dun and Bradstreet and Gallup Pakistan in February and August.

“While current sentiments fell due to the impact of COVID-19, consumer confidence about the future improved amidst resumption of economic activity,” the company in a report.

“Due to early signs of economic rebound in July-Aug 2020 in all 4 provinces, respondents are less pessimistic about the future.”

The surveys were conducted with more than 3,500 respondents.

At the time of the August survey, the economy had started opening up and consumer confidence showed improvement. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the overall score was highest in the February survey now has the least confidence. Respondents from this region had lost confidence on all 4 consumer confidence index parameters especially unemployment and household savings

“Consumer confidence across all age groups remained flat and pessimistic compared to the pre-COVID survey,” said Dun and Bradstreet Pakistan. “However, while confidence related to the current situation fell across age groups, future expectations improved for all respondents below the age of 50.”

Confidence amongst females improved in the August survey primarily owing to optimistic expectations about the future.

Males on the other hand felt that the current situation has become much worse since pre-COVID times and are less pessimistic about the next 6 months.

While still pessimistic, consumer confidence in urban areas improved from the pre-COVID survey. Confidence in rural areas on the other hand, has worsened.

Sentiments related to all 4 parameters associated with CCI worsened, especially unemployment.

Two out of 3 respondents felt that prices of daily essentials have increased significantly in the last 6 months, while 40 percent fear household income to decrease compared to pre-COVID situation.

“Unemployment is the worst impacted CCI parameter with 4 out of 5 consumers feeling that unemployment has increased/ increased a lot compared to pre-COVID situation while 55 percent respondents feel that the situation will further worsen,” said Dun and Bradstreet Pakistan.

Total 52 percent consumers are confident that their income levels will remain the same or improve in the next 6 months – down from 58 percent in February survey.

Total 51 percent of respondents felt their household financial situation had worsened in the last 6 months. However, 64 percent expect it to get better/ remain the same in the next 6 months.

Even during pre-COVID times, consumer sentiment was negative about both current situation and future expectations.

During the February survey, 56 percent had expected the situation to get better/ remain the same, thus indicating relatively higher optimism of the future during the August survey.

Two out of 3 respondents (64 percent) felt that their household savings had reduced in the last 6 months.

However, 56 percent expect it to improve/ remain the same in the next 6 months.

During the February survey, 50 percent had expected the situation to get better/ remain the same, thus indicating relatively higher optimism of the future, during the August survey.



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