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Qatar residents are the most confident consumers in the Middle East, a new study by MasterCard has found.

This is despite rising inflation rates and the ever-increasing costs of living here, particularly with regards to rent and food.

Other GCC countries fared similarly well in the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence, which surveyed some 11,339 respondents in 25 countries in November and December of last year. 

Confidence was rated based on regular income prospects, employment prospects, quality of life, and the strength of the stock market and economy into account.

Do you feel confident about your future in Qatar?


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While the overall cost of living in Qatar rose marginally from July to August, figures show it is definitely more expensive to live here now than it was a year ago.

The biggest increases from last August to last month were in the entertainment and furniture/home appliance categories, which both saw 7 percent jumps, according to the Qatar Statistics Authority’s Consumer Price Index.

Mirroring a global trend, food costs also rose some 5 percent from last year, while transportation prices increased 3 percent.

The only category that showed a significant drop from last year was rent/fuel, which fell 3.3 percent. 

QSA reports:

After eliminating the effect of rent, the overall index reached 124.3, showing an increase of 0.3 percent compared to the CPI of July 2012, and an increase of 4.3 percent when compared to the month of August 2011.

Have you noticed prices rising of late?


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Qatar’s residents tend to be more optimistic than the majority of people in the MENA region, a survey conducted by and YouGov has found.

Around half of people surveyed in Qatar said they believe that their own financial situation and that of the country’s will improve over the next 12 months, the May 2012 Middle East Consumer Confidence Index said.

And almost a third (32 percent) said they believe that there are “plenty of jobs available,” compared to the regional average of 12 percent.

But 57 percent said they believed their salaries have not kept pace with the rising cost of living, and nearly half (46 percent) say their compensation is inadequate.

Still, more than half described their job satisfaction as “neutral” or “high.” And 67 percent said the same thing about perceived job security.

One of the most indicators of confidence in the economy is consumer spending. 

Gulf Times reports:

More than a third of residents are expecting to purchase a vehicle in 2012, and more than a quarter are considering investing in the real estate sector. The most popular anticipated purchases in terms of household items are laptop and desktop computers, furniture and LCD or plasma televisions.

The index states the sample size for Qatar was low, which means results could be indicative as opposed to representative of sentiment in the country.

But the figures collected by over the past five years support the sentiment that things are perceived to be better here compared to many countries in the region.


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