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NCSI launches Consumer Confidence Survey

The National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) is finalising preparations for a public survey on the confidence of consumers, which will canvas public opinion of the citizens of the Sultanate, together with their future expectations on the financial and economic outlook.

The survey will also highlight the buying and investment intentions of the target group, in addition to views on employment opportunities, wages and the job market in general. Once the survey is completed and results tabulated, the results will provide indicators of consumers’ confidence in the economy, and can be used within a global framework to summarize trends of projected economic growth in the short term.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is a part of NCSI’s commitment to use latest scientific research methodologies to provide reliable statistical data, indicators and publications for the public, and to update the concerned authorities and decision makers with the latest statistics and information.

The survey is scheduled to start on March 2nd and will continue for 10 days. A sample of 1,200 Omani nationals aged 18 years or older will receive phone calls from NCSI representatives to answer questions about the financial and economic status of their respective families, their spending and investment aspirations and capability, their views on the national economy in terms of employment trends, wages, prices, household spending power and inflation.

The Consumer Confidence Index, which will be compiled based on the survey results, will serve as a baseline indicator for consumers’ spending decisions, which are built on their expectations of the economic outlook. When more money is spent on certain products or services, it increases consumer demand such products and services, which subsequently increases the size of production to meet the demand, leading to a local uplift in the economy. On the other hand, the decline in the general spending trend by consumers leads to a possible economic downturn. As such, the consumer confidence index will provide an invaluable resource of information to gauge public sentiment, and will help chart the future vision and direction of the national economy.

Following best practice international research methodologies, the survey will take place over the phone whereby the target survey subjects will receive phone calls from NCSI representatives who will collect the required data in an instant, simple, straightforward and cost-effective process, in fact the entire interview process takes less than *10 minutes*. The NCSI has also set up a state-of-the-art call centre that is equipped with the latest communication technology and software to be uses for data collection.

To further ensure a smooth and trouble-free survey, the NCSI is to conduct a pre-test survey that will cover a sample of 50-100 Omani nationals in the days before the start of the survey proper, which will start on the 2nd of March 2014. The trial survey will measure the response speed, the clarity of the questions and the subjects’ feedback in order to adjust the actual form of the survey if required.