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Jordan, February 16, 2020
'Q4 2019 saw positive shift in Jordan consumer sentiment'

AMMAN — Ipsos, a global market research company, has recorded an improvement in citizens’ future outlook on the country’s economy and their own financial situations, resulting in a three-point increase in the company’s Jordanian Consumer Sentiment Index (JCSI) Q4 2019, reaching its highest levels last year.

According to a statement by Ipsos, the index showed that Jordan witnessed a “diffusion of negativity” during the last three months of 2019, as compared with the third quarter of the year.

On a global level, the last quarter of 2019 was marked with a “growing sense of optimism” compared with the previous quarter, with 20 out of the 25 countries included in the survey exhibiting more positivity towards general economic conditions, according to the statement.

While Jordanians conveyed less confidence towards both their current financial conditions and the country’s current economic situation, the expectation of a turnaround has seen its highest improvement since the drastic drop witnessed in Q4 2018, according to Ipsos.

At the time, the announcement of the income tax law drove the index to its lowest levels as a result of Jordanians’ diminished confidence in their ability to spend.

A year after, one in three Jordanians are feeling more hopeful for a positive economic shift, and 50 per cent believe that the country is “heading in the right direction”, with an increase of 14 per cent in comparison with the previous quarter, the market research company said.

Results this quarter have depicted a “clear anticipation” of the government’s direction towards improving living standards.

While Jordanians “kept an eye out” for the four governmental packages that were newly introduced in Q4 2019, their main focus was on the third package, which aims to increase public sector salaries, the statement said.

This package garnered more than twice the attention and understanding of the prior two packages.

Seventy per cent of Jordanians have heard about this new economic reform, with only 30 per cent aware of the previous two packages as well.

The high awareness of the third package has shown a “positive and a more tangible” impact on sentiments towards the future economic situations, noted the statement

Although the third package has contributed to a general optimism regarding Jordan’s future economic situation, it comes as no surprise that citizens remain unsure of the magnitude of improvement that will be reflected on their personal financial situations, read the statement.

While Jordanians’ confidence in their ability to spend and make big purchases remains low, the last quarter has also seen a slight improvement on that front, according to Ipsos.

Compared wich other countries globally, Jordan has witnessed the greatest increase when it comes to consumers’ confidence in their ability to invest in their future, the study said.

Jordan rose six ranks this year in respect to this index, and is now the 19th country out of 25, surpassing several countries such as Russia, Italy and Turkey, the statement said.

“Despite the slight positivity witnessed in Q4 2019, the beginning of 2020 has already been marked with increased levels of uncertainty given major events occurring already, like the ‘Deal of the Century’,” Managing Director of Ipsos in Jordan and Iraq Saif Nimry was quoted in the statement as saying.

“Globally, Ipsos notes a decline in consumers’ trust towards the economy in times of uncertainty and in the presence of external forces whose effects are yet to be felt. That said, activating such governmental reforms in Q1 will be crucial in diffusing uncertainty by providing Jordanians with tangible improvements when it comes to their personal financial situations,” Nimry said.

He added that the aim behind issuing the JCSI is to understand consumers’ sentiments towards the current and future state of the local economy and their personal financial situations in order to uncover Jordanians’ spending habits, according to the statement.

Ipsos is the third-largest market research company in the world, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people, according to the statement.