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We are confident!

We are confident!

Who is? We are, apparently. You and me. The papers are full of reports that confidence is back on the scene. But look a little closer and it’s more like wishful thinking.

November 11, 2010 10:59 by

On a scale of one to 10, how confident are you feeling? To judge by recent press stories, you are pretty close to double digits. No, seriously, you are.

Emirates 24-7 reports this week that “UAE executive Confidence surges 30 percent in 2010.” According to the article, the website conducted a survey of executives “across a wide variety of economic sectors, and a majority of them agree that with the worst behind us.” Kipp loves a bit of positivity, and never fails to find it in the 1984-ish morale boosting headlines filling up 24-7’s home page. But we weren’t too surprised by the thoroughly un-academic methodology adopted in the survey. It turns out the paper gathered a group of “UAE’s top executives” (who are they, nobody knows. Perhaps so important, their identity must be kept secret). The paper seems to have asked them if they think confidence levels were up by 0 percent, 10 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent or more than 40 percent. The findings? 65 percent “thought” the confidence level among consumers had increased by 30 percent.

You will excuse Kipp if we suppress our gasps of excitement at the depth of insight all this provides.

Although who knows? It could very well be accurate. Maybe we are that confident. And if we are, perhaps it’s all down to our optimism. Gulf News reported this week that a survey has found the UAE to be the 10th most optimistic country amongst 53 countries surveyed. The AC Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence (there’s that word again) survey, which polled 26,000 people, found that though three quarters of the people surveyed still believed that the UAE was recession, many are “optimistic.”

Optimistic, but not naïve – the results also say that people are still cutting back on spending. The survey found that 50 percent are saving up and 35 percent are using their cash to pay off debts. How are they saving? Apparently, “58 per cent are spending less on clothes, 52 per cent are cutting down on entertainment outside, and 52 per cent are cutting telephone expense.” Steer clear of Etisalat quizzes, suggests Kipp.

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