73% of Nigerians Would Put Spare Cash into Savings—Report

August 30, 2019
Retirement Savings Account

By Dipo Olowookere

A new report released by Nielsen Africa, which measures Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) in some countries on the continent, said things were not to rosy for Nigeria in the second quarter of 2019 because the country’s index slightly increased by one point to 127 unlike its West African neighbor, Ghana, which gained 10 points to settle at 118.

The 127 points reached by Nigeria, according to a summary of the report made available to Business Post, remains the highest confidence level for the country since the first quarter of 2016.

“Following a turbulent period in its history, Nigeria’s economic recovery is gaining momentum with GDP expected to grow slightly to 2.5 percent year on year, off the back of moderate improvements in net exports and domestic demand. Nigerians are optimistic about their future and this is reflected in the confidence scores,” Nielsen MD for Nigeria, Mr Ged Nooy, commented.

Looking at the consumer picture, Nigerians immediate-spending intentions have shown a healthy increase; with 54 percent of consumers versus 46 percent in the previous quarter saying now is a good or excellent time to purchase what they want or need.

However, their perception around job prospects have slightly declined, with 60 percent viewing them as excellent or good, a nine-point drop from the previous quarter.

It was stated that sentiment around the state of personal finances has shown a slight improvement with 82 percent Nigerians agreeing their state of personal finances will be excellent or good over the next year, a one-point increase from the previous quarter.

Looking at whether Nigerians have spare cash to spend, 51 percent said yes, versus 55 percent in the previous quarter.

In terms of their spending priorities, once they meet their essential living expenses, 76 percent would invest in home improvements/ decorating, 73 percent would put their spare cash into savings and 66 percent say they will invest in shares/mutual funds.

Surprisingly, in light of their propensity towards savings and investment, the lowest number 39 percent said they would put their spare cash into retirement funds.

Looking at the top concerns for Nigerians over the next six months, work/life balance tops the list with 27 percent (a six-point increase compared to the previous quarter) and has displaced political stability as the number one concern for Nigerians.

This is followed by increasing food prices at 22 percent (a one-point increase compared to Q1’19) and the economy at 20 percent (a four-point increase compared to the previous quarter)

Elaborating on these results, Mr Nooy said, “Nigerian consumers are positive and open to spending, however, the country’s retail environment continues to feel the effects of steep inflation. Manufacturers and retailers will therefore need to tackle this challenge head on, to harness the true value of Nigeria’s powerful consumer base.”

On the part of Ghana, its CCI for the second quarter of 2019 showed an extremely healthy increase of 10 points to 118.

Looking at Ghana’s overall performance, Nielsen Market Lead for West Africa, Yannick Nkembe said, “Ghana is currently the poster child for African economic growth and positive consumer sentiment. The International Monetary Fund estimates its GDP will rise 8.8 percent this year – double the pace of emerging economies as a whole, and well ahead of world growth.

“This is a result of factors such as expanding crude oil production, a stable democracy and the introduction of a more favourable taxation structure. Ghana’s manufacturing industry has also been boosted by policies aimed at diversifying the economy and preventing an over-reliance on the commodity markets.”

This overall positive outlook is reflected by Ghanaian consumers’ greatly improved view of their job prospects, with a 10-point increase to 63 percent, saying they will be excellent or good in the next six months.

In terms of the state of their personal finances over the next 12 months, 74 percent say excellent or good up from 70 percent and the number of Ghanaian consumers who feel now is a good or excellent time to purchase has also seen a large increase quarter on quarter, from 34 percent to 46 percent.

Looking at whether Ghanaians have spare cash, 52 percent say yes, up nine points from the previous quarter. Once they meet their essential living expenses, the highest number of consumers (82 percent) put their spare cash into savings, followed by 72 percent on home improvements/decorating and 67 percent who invest in stocks and mutual funds.

When looking at the real life factors that are having a negative impact on Ghanaians outlook, the top concerns over the next six months include work/life balance at 24 percent; the same figure as the last quarter, rising food prices at 22 percent (dropped by three points compared to Q1’19) and tolerance towards different religions, also at 22 percent (increased by one percent since the previous quarter), and children’s education and welfare at 18 percent which has seen a 2-point increase.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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