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Divergent consumer confidence trends in Ghana and Nigeria reveal a tale of two very different countries

The latest Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) results for Nigeria and Ghana reveal a tale of two very different countries. While Nigeria's CCI of 113 represents a decline of nine points from the second quarter, Ghana's score rose five points to 109 after three previous quarters at 104.
In fact, all three of its confidence indicators increased in the third quarter. Ghana’s positive outlook for jobs rose 13 percentage points from the second quarter, followed by personal-finance sentiment (77%), which increased eight percentage points, and immediate-spending intentions (42%), which jumped six percentage points.

Nielsen East and West Africa MD Abhik Gupta comments; “In Ghana, there are signs of general mood improvement as power supply, exchange rates and inflation stabilises. This is due to retailers perceived view on improvements in the ease of doing business in Ghana, an increase in consumer spend in stores, and growing consumer willingness to try new products.

“Ghanaian consumers also display more positive sentiment about job prospects but remain price conscious in today’s high-inflation environment, in which 60% of consumers base their product choice on price and affordability. Combined with this are a stable GDP growth outlook and business views at their most favourable levels since the second quarter of 2014.”

In addition, half of Ghanaian respondents said they had spare cash - an increase of 16 percentage points from the second quarter.

In terms of what they would use this spare cash for, Ghanaians remain financially conservative in their outlook, with the highest number (75%) saying they would put it into savings and the second highest number (66%) saying they would invest in shares/mutual funds. In addition, 55% see home improvements as a worthwhile investment.

Staring down the barrel of multiple setbacks

In stark contrast, Nigeria is currently facing a series of fiscal and climatic setbacks and it’s therefore no surprise that its three consumer confidence indicators have declined from the second quarter. Immediate-spending intentions declined the most, dropping 13 percentage points to 35% of consumers who say the current time is a good/excellent time to buy what they need. The outlook for jobs declined six percentage points to 58%, and personal-finance sentiment declined six percentage points to 75%.

Gupta says because of the above factors the current confidence levels in the country remain a concern. “Nigerian market conditions remain extremely constrained, following the slump in commodity prices - in particular oil. Fuel and power supply issues have also plagued the economy, as have the foreign-exchange crisis and the devaluation of Nigeria’s currency, the Naira.

However, Nigerians retain a spark of their inherent optimism and even thought just over one-third of Nigeria respondents (36%) said they had spare cash, down from nearly half (49%) in the second quarter they still have a clear idea of their purchase priorities. In terms of what they would use this spare cash for, the highest number of Nigerians are seeking to batten down the hatches on their current financial future, with 81% saying they would put it into savings. The second highest number want to enhance the value of their tangible assets, with 73% set to use their spare cash on home improvements and decorating. Unsurprisingly 56% would spend it on out of home entertainment as they seek some respite from their current daily stresses and strains.

So, despite the current deluge, as Nielsen’s latest Africa Prospects Indicator (APi) Report states; “Nigerians continue to be some of the more optimistic consumers on the continent, with positive sentiment for their job prospects and personal finances, even though immediate spending intentions and levels of spare cash are more strained.” “Business success in Nigeria has shifted to a longer-term goal for those willing to ride out the current economic storm.”

About the Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted August 10 - September 2, 2016 and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behaviour of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

NielsenNielsen knows people, Nielsen knows Africa. No-one offers a more complete understanding, worldwide, of what consumers watch and buy. We offer the scale to give you world view - as well as a wealth of local and regional knowledge and expertise.
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