By Dipo Olowookere
A report released by Nielsen Africa has revealed that consumer confidence index in Nigeria gained five points to close at 122 in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Nielsen Africa, in its latest West Africa Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) figures made available to Business Post on Monday, disclosed that Ghana also showed positive performance with eight points gained to finish at 120 during the period under review.
The eight-point increase in Ghana’s latest Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) figures was attributed to a higher proportion of Ghanaians perceiving the state of their job prospects in the next 12 months to be ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’, which now stands at 69 percent, the highest level since quarter 1, 2014 and a nine percent increase from last quarter.
The sentiments around personal finances have also seen a one percent rise to 79 percent for those who feel the state of their personal finances would be ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ in the next 12 months, contributing to the overall consumer confidence index in Ghana.
Recovery in the oil and gas sector, healthier agricultural production, and favourable monetary policies, have all contributed towards reinstating positive sentiment among Ghanaians.
Improving sentiment around employment prospects and personal finances is translating into larger and more favourable outcomes in consumption, with 48 percent consumers saying it is an excellent time to buy the things they want and need; a five percent rise from the previous quarter.
With consumers having had to keep their purse strings pulled tight for some time now, there is still concern on how far their cash will go.
Only 56 percent of Ghanaians have spare cash once they have covered their essential living expenses, a drop of two percent leading to a more cash-strapped sentiment.
On the other hand, consumer confidence in Nigeria is as positive as neighbouring Ghana with a three-percent increase in perceived job prospects for the next 12 months.
The biggest improvement, however, is in consumers’ personal finances with a nine percent increase in the number of Nigerians feeling positive that their finances will improve over the next 12 months.
This is supported with a parallel nine percent increase in Nigerians saying that they have spare cash in their pockets once they meet their essential living expenses.
Job prospects continue to improve, with sentiments moving up three percent to 65 percent, followed by an increase of four percent of Nigerians feeling that now is the time to purchase the things they need and want.
Food inflation and ever-present price pressures will continue to keep consumers on their toes when it comes to changing their basket mix and looking for further efficiencies in their consumer habits.
Commenting, Managing Director of Nielsen West Africa & Maghreb, Abhik Gupta, stated that, “The economic outlook in both Ghana and Nigeria is turning positive, spurred by a recovery in non-oil sectors, healthier agricultural production, favourable monetary policies, and a slight easing in inflationary pressures.
“This positive attitude is also seen in the consumer confidence level, which has risen quarter on quarter.
“Overall the economy is expected to inch forward in a positive direction, with growing optimism translating into consumption.”
Gupta said further that, “Nigeria has faced various challenges over the last two years including recessionary trends from mid-2016, and a rapidly rising inflation, however we are seeing steady recovery in job prospects and personal finances, bringing some relief to inflation and we expect further recoveries in both sentiment and consumption.”
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