Consumers’ overall confidence index remained in negative territory in Q4’20, according to the latest Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) report released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The report, which was posted on the apex bank’s website on Monday, showed that the consumers’ overall confidence outlook was pessimistic in Q4’20, as it stood at -14.8 index points. According to the report, respondents attributed the unfavourable outlook “to declining economic conditions, family financial situation and declining family income.”
It, however, indicated that consumers were optimistic in their outlook for the next quarter and next 12 months with indices of 10.5 and 28.9 points, respectively. “This positive outlook could be attributed to the expected increase in net household income, an anticipated improvement in Nigeria’s economic conditions and expectations to save a bit and/or have plenty over savings in the next quarter and the next 12 months,” the report said. On the outlook on prices changes, the report stated: “Most respondents expect prices of goods and services to rise in the next 12 months, with an index of 43.1 points. The major drivers are: Savings, food & other household needs, Education, Purchase of Appliances/ durables, Purchase of Car/Motor Vehicle, and purchase of houses.”
Standing at 21.6 points in Q4’ 2020, the overall buying conditions index for big-ticket items, according to the report, showed that majority of consumers believed that the current quarter was not the ideal time to purchase big-ticket items such as consumer durables, motor vehicles and houses. Similarly, the report indicated that the overall buying intention index in the next 12 months stood at 29.9 index points, showing that most consumers do not intend to buy big-ticket items in the next 12 months.
“The buying intention indices for consumer durables, motor vehicles and house & lot were below 50 points, which shows that respondents have no plans to make these purchases in the next twelve months,” the report said. With the borrowing and exchange rates outlook for the next 12 months, having indices of 12.2 and 3.9 points, respectively, this shows, the report said, that consumers expect the borrowing rate to rise and anticipate a strengthening of the naira in the next 12 months.
Also, according to the report, “the unemployment index for the next 12 months remained positive at 36.9 points in Q4 2020, indicating that consumers generally expect the unemployment rate to rise in the next one year.”