EMCS Consumer Confidence Index


The overall consumer sentiment continued to improve in July 2020, based on research conducted by EMCS – a leading consultancy and research firm - on behalf of the European Commission.  Due to this increase, the index shifted to positive territory.  The findings are based on a survey of 1000 randomly selected households, conducted during the first three weeks of July.  The same survey is carried out on a monthly basis.

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) registered a recovery in the past three months from the lowest point hit in April 2020.  This recovery can be attributed to the rolling out of the various economic regeneration measures announced by the Government but also by getting used to a “new normality”.  This was coupled with the fact that for the large part of the month of July 2020, the number of detected COVID-19 cases were very low, hence consumers may have felt more confident to socialise and spend more money

Other key findings of the survey were:

  • The majority of the respondents indicated that while they perceived that on an overall basis, price levels increased marginally over the past 12 months, on the other hand, they have an optimistic expectation that prices will decrease significantly for the forthcoming 12 months.
  • The general economic perception of the respondents for the previous 12 months has turned to deep negative territory in July 2020, with a drastic more negative outlook in July 2020 when compared to June 2020. Nevertheless, the registered outlook with regards to the General Economy is a positive one for the next 12 months. This improvement may suggest an anticipated increase in future consumer spending and a resumption in employment for some.  This also shows how people’s perception is very erratic and dependent on circumstances of the moment.
  • In general, respondents indicated that their outlook for the next 12 months is that unemployment will be less when compared to June.
  • The expected change in spending on major purchases over the next 12 months when compared to the previous 12 months decreased marginally compared to the June results however it remained largely in negative territory.
  • On balance, respondents indicated that the financial situation of their household worsened slightly over the last 12 months when compared to June. However, it is expected to improve over the next 12 months coupled with an improvement in their ability to save. This is also in line with the replies from respondents on the likeliness of purchasing a car, a home, or doing home improvements which is viewed less negatively in July 2020.

The Consumer Confidence Indicator for Malta as estimated by EMCS Ltd is a Harmonized Index collected in many countries.  Malta’s index, which stood at +5.11, is above the EU average for July 2020, which stood at -15.  The EU average for the CCI decreased from its value in June.  This indicates that the increased optimism of Maltese consumers does not complement the perception of the average of European consumers.

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.  For more information on the Consumer Confidence Index or market research contact EMCS Ltd on 27772777 or email info@emcs.com.mt