The last quarter of 2019 was marked with a growing sense of optimism compared to the previous quarter, on a global level. With 20 out of the 25 countries exhibiting more positivity towards the general economic situation. Similarly, Jordan has seen a diffusion of negativity in comparison to the third quarter of the year, especially when it comes to Jordanians’ future outlook towards the country’s economy and their own financial situations. The slight improvement witnessed this wave has resulted in a 3-point increase in the Jordanian Consumer Sentiment Index reaching its highest levels in 2019.
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. 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, 1 in 3 are feeling more hopeful for a positive economic shift, and 50% believing that the country is heading in the right direction, with an increase of 14% in comparison to the previous quarter.
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 three governmental packages that were newly introduced in Q4 2019, their main focus was fixated on the third package, which aims at increasing public sector salaries. This package garnered more than twice the attention and understanding in comparison to the two other packages. As a matter of fact, 70% of Jordanians have heard about this new economic reform, with only 30% being aware of the other two packages. High awareness of the third package have shown a positive and a more tangible impact especially on their sentiments towards the future economic situations. Although the third package has contributed to the 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 situation.
That said, 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. In fact, compared to other countries globally, Jordan has witnessed the highest increase when it comes to consumers’ confidence in their ability to invest in their future. In fact, Jordan rose six ranks this year with respect to this index as it is now the 19th country out of 25, surpassing several countries such as Russia, Italy and Turkey.
“Despite the slight positivity witnessed in Q4’2019, the beginning of 2020 has been already marked with increased levels of uncertainty given major events occurring already, like the Deal of the Century. Globally, Ipsos notes a decline in consumers’ trust towards the economy in times of uncertainty and in the presence of external forces which 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 financial personal situations.” Saif Nimry, Managing Director of Ipsos in Jordan and Iraq.
Jordan Consumer Sentiment Index Q3 2019
The third quarter of 2019 has witnessed an increase in negative sentiments worldwide and Jordan alike. Recurrent frustrations over increases in costs of living as well as Jordanian consumers’ increased spending on necessities have led to a slight 1-point drop in Ipsos’ Jordan Consumer sentiment Index (JCSI). Jordanians’ negative sentiments towards the current financial situation were further heightened by the latest developments related to the Teachers’ Strike, which was reported to be the most salient news closely followed by more than half of Jordanians.