TNS Research International, Kenya’s leading market and social research company, conducted a survey in August 2010 to assess consumer confidence.
The survey was conducted amongst a representative sample of 1,504 Kenyan adults from 18 years and above, in both urban (20%) and rural (80%) areas. Respondents were interviewed face-to-face in their homes. As with any findings from a sample, results represent the population within a margin of error +/-5
TNS’s Consumer Confidence measure is built around the mean of the sample’s response to the following questions:-
–Business conditions are generally poor at the moment
–You expect business conditions to improve in the next 6 months
–Your income is keeping up with inflation at the moment
–You expect your economic circumstances to improve in the next 6 months
–You expect inflation to increase over the next 6 months
–You have been asked for a bribe in the past 6 months
–You expect your household income to improve in the next 6 months
–You have been a victim of crime in the past 6 months
–Jobs are easy to find at the moment
Scores are allocated for the level of agreement or disagreement to a number of statements. Each of these statements is measured based on how important it is in predicting confidence and thereafter a score for each respondent is obtained. An average for the whole dataset is then calculated and divided by the average for the first wave then multiplied by 100 to get the index. This index basically reflects growth or decline in consumer confidence
There has been an increase in consumer confidence since June this year, probably due to returning feeling of stability after the peacefully concluded Constitutional Referendum. The consumer confidence index is up 136 from 115 in June.
Kenyans are feeling more optimistic about the future with a 58% feeling more positive about the future circumstances changing for the better. Despite continued pessimism about their current situation (in terms of economic conditions and business performance) the proportion feeling that things will get better in the future has significantly gone up.
While the outlook on employment has improved somewhat, both in terms of how people feel the situation is right now, and how it will be in the future, there has been no significant change on inflation and crime. The proportion reporting having been asked for a bribe has declined.
Central Province held steady in terms of confidence and significant improvements have been noticed in Nairobi (+52), Coast (+54), Western (+31) and Rift Valley (+20). Marginal declines were noted in Eastern (-10) and Nyanza (-6)
Kenyans have more confidence in the economy now than in June 2010, and there is an indication of an overall upward trend since October 2009. There has been an increase in consumer confidence between June 2010 and August 2010, and we are still at a higher level than in October 2009. Consumers have more confidence in the economy and their own situation than June 2010. The current index is at 136, a 21 point increase over the previous wave which stood at 115.
How do Kenyans feel about their economic circumstances?
A majority of Kenyans do NOT feel that their economic circumstance is good at the moment. The confidence of Kenyans about their economic circumstances at the moment did not change significantly across the country as a whole. Urban people’s confidence grew significantly between June and August however.
Beliefs about the future are more positive. 58 % are expecting their economic circumstances to improve in the next 6 months. This has significantly increased since June 2010. Highest levels were recorded in Western and Nairobi provinces respectively.
Opinion about business conditions in Kenya
Most people feel that business conditions are poor at the moment, with no significant change. Looking into the future for business conditions, Kenyans are more positive. The score has risen from 39% in the previous wave to 52% in August 2010.
How do Kenyans feel about employment in their country?
A majority (87%) of Kenyans still believe that jobs are hard to find at the moment. Attitude towards the job market is slowly changing towards the more positive, especially in urban areas.
How do respondents feel about inflation?
A majority still feel that their income is not keeping up with inflation. There has been no significant change since June 2010 in the proportion of respondents who feel that their income is keeping up with inflation at the moment, still indicating a low purchasing power.
You expect inflation to increase over next 6 months
Nearly half of respondents (42%) believe that inflation will increase further in the next 6 months. The proportion believing this is still at 42% in comparison to the previous.
Crime and Corruption
Overall crime rate has not increased significantly. It is now at 10%. There has been a significant drop in the proportion of respondents reporting having been asked for a bribe in the past 6 months, since June 10.
Overall feeling about Kenya and its future
A pick up from June to 70% levels of optimism in August from 51% in June is a good indication in the levels of confidence that Kenyans are developing about the country’s future.
Courtesy: TNS Research International and The Kantar Group