Consumer confidence deeply shaken at end of 2012, report shows

A nationwide lack of faith in the economy was reflected in a 15.8 percent slide in the consumer confidence index from November to December 2012, said a government agency.

Household income levels, confidence in current economic policies and belief that economic and living conditions would improve are three important indicators of consumer confidence that were all hit hard at the end of 2012, according to a reporty by the Information and Decision Support Center at the Council of Ministers.

In a report on the consumer confidence index for the month of December, which was issued Sunday, the index of household income fell by 11.4 percent that month. Only 20 percent of households reported believing that their financial status allowed them to purchase durable goods, compared to 24.4 percent of households in November.

There was a 28.9 percent drop in confidence in economic policies as compared to the month of November. Only 8.5 percent of those polled believed the country's economic health was better than last year, compared to 18.1 percent in November.

The index of expectations for improved living and economic conditions remained higher than the other indices, but still showed a 10.1 percent loss in December.

The elderly, especially those who are also illiterate, were the most optimistic in their economic outlook, the report said.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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