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Last updated: September 24, 2014

Islamic State get out of the way: 50% of Arabs are hopeful for the year ahead

Banner Icon Despite growing political turmoil, 35% of respondents in Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) claim job opportunities will increase in the coming six months, according to a new report. Read about that and much more in our summary of the findings.

A fresh survey from Bayt.com and YouGov has shown that despite respondents expecting economies and job opportunities across the MENA region to grow in the foreseeable future, they are also concerned about the rising cost of living. Here are some of the key insights:

Personal economic situation:

* 21% of MENA residents consider their personal financial situation to be better now than it was 6 months ago – though 42% consider it to be the same, while 30% state that things have declined for them.

* Expectations for the future are positive, however, with 41% believing their personal financial situation will improve in the next 6 months. Despite this, 78% anticipate the cost of living in their country of residence to increase within the same time, and 52% state that, in comparison to last year, their savings have decreased.

* A third (34%) of MENA residents are considering buying a vehicle in the next 12 months, with 48% looking to buy a used car for personal use, as opposed to 46% considering a new car purchase.

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* 26% are considering purchasing property, of which 48% will purchase an apartment. More than half (56%) will buy new property.

* In the next 6 months, MENA consumers are looking to buy desktop or laptop computers (26%), furniture (21%), and LCD or Plasma TVs (16%).

The MENA’s economic situation:

* And listen to this: Economies across MENA have improved in the last 6 months according to 27% of respondents, however according to another 27%, things have declined. 42% anticipate brighter days to come with an improved economy in the coming 6 months.

* According to 35%, business conditions in MENA are currently either good or very good, with better times to come, as stated by 54%.

* Despite the high expectations, 52% of MENA respondents believe that there are currently few jobs available. This situation is expected to change, however, with 35% anticipating that the number of jobs in their country of residence will increase in the coming 6 months.

Current job perspective:

* According to 35% of MENA respondents, they have more employees in their company now than they did 6 months ago, and 39% expect there to be more employees hired in the next 6 months.

* Satisfaction with careers across MENA is relatively high: 43% are happy with their currently career growth opportunities; 33% are happy with their current compensation; 44% are satisfied with their non-monetary benefits, and 43% are satisfied with their level of job security.

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“On the whole, the outlook for the region is a good one. Things are certainly improving with more and more major projects materializing across the MENA region, such as the upcoming World Cup in Qatar and Expo2020 in Dubai,” said Suhail Al-Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com. “These projects are generating more job opportunities, which is a boom for the region. They are, however, also driving up costs which is why savings are dwindling and respondents are expecting a higher cost of living in the future. Employers must take this into consideration when hiring new employees.”

Silviu Matei, Director at YouGov, said: “An interesting point to note is that despite the fact that most people in the MENA region consider their personal financial situation to have either improved or stayed the same, a large proportion state that their savings have decreased. Despite high levels of confidence in the market, rising prices seem to negatively impact residents’ savings.”

Data for the YouGov and Bayt.com Middle East and North Africa Consumer Confidence Index Survey for August 2014 was collected online from August 5-19, 2014, amongst 5,075 respondents aged 18 years and above. Respondents were from the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

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