Consumer and business confidence in Abu Dhabi have dipped, the latest government statistics show. But officials say socio-economic indicators remain broadly positive, indicating confidence in the strength of the emirate's rebound from the global financial crisis. Levels of consumer optimism dropped marginally last month compared with November, the statistics compiled by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) show.
Optimism in the business outlook of the emirate also fell slightly in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with the previous quarter. Officials attributed the decline to investor uncertainty over the extent of the recovery from the global financial crisis. Despite the slight dip, the figures showed continued confidence in the economy and the Government response to the crisis, said Mohammed Omar Abdullah, the undersecretary of the DED.
"The measures taken to control the consequences of this crisis were effective in the eyes of consumers," Mr Abdullah said. "We anticipate these positive attitudes towards the market will continue in 2010 and we will continue assessing the situation as we go along." The general index of consumer confidence dropped from 132 points in November to 123 points last month. Emirati consumers were more confident than expatriates, with the department attributing the difference to nationals having greater job security.
And confidence among consumers employed in the government sector was higher than those working within the private sector. The data showed optimism in the Western Region of the emirate remained slightly higher than the rest. Confidence in the business environment showed a drop of 5 points to 58 in the fourth quarter from the previous three months. The DED began collating the set of indicators in April last year to boost Abu Dhabi's appeal to investors. Officials hoped the move would bring the emirate up to standards of international best practice on data availability.