ABU DHABI: Consumers in the United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's biggest markets, are in mixed mood regarding their personal financial prospects and spending plans, a study has found.

Bayt, the recruitment service, partnered with research firm YouGov Siraj to poll 7,245 adults across the Middle East.

The results from the UAE showed 62% of respondents agreed salary increases were not keeping pace with the rising cost of living.

More broadly, 25% of the sample concurred that their personal financial circumstances had improved in the last 12 months, 38% reported no real change, and 30% witnessed a decline.

An additional 49% expected this situation should get better in the coming year, and 51% suggested the same concerning the national economy.

However, 51% predicted the job market would either remain flat or contract during this period, and only 34% anticipated an expansion in the labour force.

When assessing job security levels, 38% of the panel were "neutral", 30% adopted a negative position, and 26% assumed a positive stance.

Just 17% of contributors believed it was currently a good time to buy consumer durables, but the largest share, 47%, took a "neutral" view on this metric, the study added.

Among those interviewees intending to invest, 49% hoped to acquire a new car, and 58% planned to purchase a property.

"The overall feeling is that while the coming year will be favourable for business and corporations, this may not necessarily reflect on employees' benefits," explained Amer Zureikat, VP Sales at Bayt.

"The general sentiment is that an increase in salary could be due, in correlation with inflated costs of living."

Data sourced from Bayt; additional content by Warc staff