Pakistan’s consumer confidence went down by four points for the second quarter of 2017 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, but remained above the baseline score of 102 for the same quarter, according to a market research report by a research firm Nielsen Pakistan.
According to the survey, job outlook declined from 51% in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 47% in the second quarter of 2017. As job outlook remained unsatisfactory, job security also remained a main concern at 32% amongst people. Favorable perceptions about personal finances also witnessed a decline by one percent in the second quarter at 64%.
Apart from these, respondents were also concerned about parent’s welfare and happiness (26%), children’s welfare and education (19%), and work/life balance (22%). The decrease in consumer confidence has led to people being extra cautious as they opt for savings and investments out of their extra income for the future.
While a vast majority of the people have opted for savings and investment, there still remains a sector that spends its income on new clothes, smartphones, and other every day luxuries. The extra cautiousness of people may be attributed to the prices of commodities that are constantly going up. In the month of August, only perishable food items went up by 5.25% on year-over-year basis.
According to the data revealed by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), consumer price inflation (CPI) was recorded at 3.41% during the month of August. Prices of foods and commodities usually go sky high during the Eid festivities before coming down to the normal level after Eid.
Will Decrease in Consumer Confidence Hurt People?
While a small segment of people may not be affected by the decrease in consumer confidence, a major segment of Pakistan’s population is likely to bear the brunt of declining consumer confidence. More than half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line and increase in prices of goods, lack of employment opportunities, and job security issues will thrust the people further into the miserable conditions they are living in.