Consumer confidence more pessimistic in the third quarter of 2021; Results for the third quarter of 2021

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After a steady improvement, albeit still negative, consumer sentiments turned more pessimistic again as the consumer confidence index fell by 1.8 index points to 94.9 in the third quarter of 2021.

Despite the rebound in tourism arrivals and economic recovery, by the end of the third quarter, top of mind consumer concerns were higher prices, as 95 percent of those surveyed expected that prices would increase during the coming 6 months (Q2-2021: 86 percent), while 66 percent indicated that they were concerned about their personal health (Q2-2021: 43 percent) possibly due to the Delta COVID-19 virus. Noteworthy is that only 26 percent of respondents thought that economic conditions would improve, i.e., 23 percentage points less compared to previous quarter (Q2-2021: 49 percent). However, just 15 percent of respondents expected that the financial position of the government would be better; 11 percentage points less compared to the previous quarter (Q2-2021: 26 percent).

In the third quarter of 2021, both the present situation and the future expectation index fell, i.e., by, respectively, 1.7 index points to 95.0, and 4.2 index points to 97.1, reflecting increased pessimistic expectations. More than half of those surveyed expected the Aruban economy to take an additional 2 years to fully recover from the COVID-19 crisis (Q2-2021: 50 percent). In the third quarter of 2021, 67 percent reported that buying a car was not suitable (Q2-2021: 67 percent), 65 percent indicated that taking out a loan was not appropriate (Q2-2021: 62 percent), whereas 61 percent reported that taking out a mortgage was unsuitable (Q2-2021: 57 percent). About 56 percent stated that going on vacation was not appropriate (Q2-2021: 50 percent). Consequently, the consumer purchasing habit index stood at 94.1 in the third quarter.

More information on the Consumer Confidence survey is available on CBA’s website www.cbaruba.org.