THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released its first-quarter Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) report which showed that consumers’ confidence in the economy worsened drastically between the last quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of this year, sliding from 3.3 index points to -0.3 in between the periods.
The consumers’ overall confidence outlook dipped in Q1’20, leading to consumers’ pessimism.
The index at -0.3 point was 5.1 points lower than the index in the corresponding period of 2019, the CBN report showed.
According to the report, respondents attributed this unfavourable outlook to declining economic conditions.
The report also showed that consumers were however optimistic in their outlook for the next quarter and next 12 months with indices of 28.9 and 43.3 points, respectively.
The level of optimism businesses had in the macro-economic situation of the country sank to 6.6 index points in March 2020, compared to the 26.6 recorded last month, the report showed.
The CBN report highlighted that most respondents expect prices of goods and services to rise in the next 12 months, with an index of 22.9 points.
The major drivers are medical expenses, education, telecommunication, savings, purchase of houses, and food & other household needs.
The overall buying conditions index for big-ticket items in the current quarter stood at 24.4 points.
This indicates that the majority of consumers believed that the current quarter was not the ideal time to purchase big-ticket items like consumer durables, motor vehicles and houses, the report showed.
As regards unemployment, it showed that the unemployment index for the next 12 months remained positive at 27.7 points in Q1’20, indicating that consumers generally expect the unemployment rate to rise in the next one year.