Consumer Confidence in Malta
EMCS Consumer Confidence Index
Following a downward blip in Consumer Confidence in August 2020, Malta’s consumer sentiment improved slightly in September 2020, based on a survey released by EMCS Ltd, on behalf of the European Commission. The findings are based on a survey of 1000 randomly selected households, conducted during the first three weeks of September. The same survey is carried out on a monthly basis.
In September 2020, despite reflecting overall negative opinions, the EMCS Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) improved to a -6.8 from -14.0 in August 2020, but better than in the previous month. Despite the index remaining in negative territory, this rise in the index could possibly be linked to one or both of the following assumptions. It may be that either respondents were less pessimistic in September as people’s fears of COVID-19 lessened, even though Malta has registered the highest rate of new cases per capita and is currently the third-highest country in EU in terms of deaths. Or else, the government’s efforts and trust in government’s handling the COVID-19 situation has improved, leading to an increase in confidence. Yet these are just suppositions.
Detailed findings from the survey questions are:
The perceived economic situation for Malta over the last 12 months worsened marginally when compared to last month. On the other hand, they were less negative when asked about their financial situation over the past 12 months. Sentiment over the change in prices over the last twelve months has remained unchanged.
A slight improvement is evident in results to the respondents’ question related to their perceived current financial position of the household. Moreover, respondents were less negative in their financial and general economic outlook for the next 12 months when compared to last month.
In general, respondents indicated that they are hopeful in their outlook for the forthcoming 12 months in that unemployment will decrease drastically when compared to the respondents’.
The sub-index representing respondents’ intentions to carry major purchases at present has remained in negative territory, indicating that in general, it still not a good time.
On balance, the relatively more pessimistic sub-groups were females and those households who earn less than €10,500 annually.
Malta’s index, which stood at -6.8 in September, is above the Euro area (-13.9) and EU (-14.9).
It is important to point out that the survey requests the respondents’ perception of the current situation. However, the actual situation may differ from this perception.