Finance Division Issues Clarification on Reports of Declining Consumer Confidence

The Finance Division, Government of Pakistan, has rejected a news report, published in a section of the press, titled, “Consumer Confidence Declines in Third Quarter of Current Calendar Year” and declared it as contrary to the facts.

In a clarification issued on Wednesday, the Finance Division referred to a survey conducted by Dun & Bradstreet and Gallup Pakistan and said it was in line with the current macroeconomic situation of Pakistan. As highlighted in “Monthly Economic Update & Outlook Pakistan”, a publication of the Division, the economy is heading in the right direction, as the growth is all set to achieve the 4.8% target; tax collection is above target; exports have picked up; the fiscal deficit in the first quarter is better than the last year; and, above all, the remittances are sustaining.

According to the clarification, the Consumer Confidence Index Survey (Q3 2021) is highlighting the same economic picture as communicated by Finance Division whether it is a quarter-on-quarter or year-on-year comparison.

Below is the factual brief outcome of the survey conducted by Dun & Bradstreet and Gallup Pakistan:

  • Is the country heading in the right direction? The survey reported ‘yes’ for the last three months.
  • Top personal concerns of public unemployment, inflation, increase in electricity prices, tax burden, and increasing poverty: People voted unemployment, inflation, and increase in electricity concern decreased from last year. But they are concerned over additional tax burden and indifferent to increasing poverty.
  • What is the personal financial situation? As per the survey, it has improved.
  • Economic situation: People are indifferent to this question as few believe it improves and few believe it gets weaker.
  • Job security: The majority feels confident about job security.
  • Investment climate: People are more confident in investing than last year.
  • Purchasing durables: More people are confident of purchasing durables like cars and houses than last year.
  • Purchasing household items: More confident than last year.
  • Global Consumer Confidence: It has improved a lot from last year. But there is more room for improvement.

Lastly, the Finance Division claimed that the government efforts to create job opportunities were bearing fruit. It said that the growth was broad-based and witnessing in all segments, i.e., agriculture, exports, industry, and IT services. It added that the government was doing its level best to reduce the trade gap and implement policies to bring price stability.