The National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) started the 28th edition of the Consumer Confidence Survey for the fourth quarter of 2020 on Sunday. It will end on December 24.
The consumer confidence index, which is considered an important indicator of the performance of economic activity, targets citizens of 18 years old and above.
The survey aims to assess the financial progress of Omani families between the past year and the current year, as well as the positive or negative factors that affect the performance of the Omani economy.
The survey also aims to identify the future prospects of the Omani economy, the current economic situation of families, purchasing power of households for appliances, goods and cars, in addition to the availability of job opportunities at the present time and their future expectations as well.
The survey includes 1,500 samples, including Omani nationals aged 18 or older, distributed across the governorates of the sultanate, taking into account the representation of males and females in relation to society, groups and different educational levels. Data collection will be done over mobile phones.
The methodology and formula used by NCSI to calculate the consumer confidence index have been developed by the Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, US, and is widely used by national governments across the world. This enables global comparisons of the index obtained.
The methodology involves simple arithmetic average of three sub-indicators, namely current economic conditions index, household income level index, and consumer expectations index.
NCSI has been carrying out quarterly surveys of consumer confidence index from March 2014.
The consumer confidence index is a reflection of the behaviour of consumers.
An increase in customer spending leads to a rise in demand for various goods and services. This results in increased production and a rise in production facilities to meet that demand, which in turn aids the economic recovery process.
Starting from the first quarter of 2015, the Consumer Confidence Index (as well as the sub-indices) is calculated as a record number attributed to the last quarter of 2014.
Whenever the index value exceeds 100 points, this indicates a relative improvement in the index values over the reference period and an increase in the level of optimism regarding economic conditions.
The reverse occurs when the index falls below 100. If the index value remains stable at 100, it means neutrality or no change from the reference period.