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  • Short lived negativity leads to a new positivity trend.

    January 28, 2021

    Lower your guards, there’s no need to panic. After a rather negative December (or at least the first couple of weeks of it), we are back to being positive again.

    Let us take you through this story quickly, and see how things have been changing over time.

    We started this series back in November and have tracked down the difference in business sentiment along the way. Since then, the sentiment had been constantly changing – slower in KSA – but there’s always been a change.

    To do this, we used our data warehouse, Sila, and analysed tweets from the UAE and KSA related to business, the economy, investment, financing etc..

    The Sentiment

    In January 2020, confidence in the economy was net negative 86.6%, by May, at its worst, the negative index was 99.1%. The recovery has been steep, so much that in October we noticed a significant leap, from +15% to +36.1. By November that had increased to the first net positive score in the history of the series, 58.2. In December and MTD in Jan, this has been tempered by an increase in cases and the UK variant.

    Given the pessimistic view of the economy in January, it appears the COVID has acted as a semi reset on at least the economy of the UAE.

    Although positivity is increasing again, it could see some fluctuation with the rise in the number of infected cases within the UAE; and as the trend continues we predict it to be short-lived.

    Sentiment analysis of mentions of the economy in the UAE
    Sentiment analysis of mentions of the economy in the UAE

    The key difference in how business is responding in the UAE is there was a net positive score in January, then a sudden drop, and a much more gradual return to ‘net positive’, albeit it’s more balanced between positive and negative than people’s view of the economy was.
    This creates an important centre for the growth and confidence of people generally.

    Business confidence index levels in the UAE
    Business confidence index levels in the UAE

    The short-lived negativity

    2020 saw so much negativity that we no longer are phased by negative news. That, and the wide spread of vaccine trials across the UAE. The UAE aims to vaccinate over 50% of the population by March. On paper, this seemed like a long shot; however, applying the latter has been on point so far. At this point, over 2 million individuals have been vaccinated with a rate of 22.71 doses per 100 people.  

    With things pointing towards an eventual end to the pandemic in the UAE; positivity is on the rise again, and December’s negativity remains short-lived. At least for now.

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