A report by Freedom Finance Global notes that in general, the Consumer Confidence Index in Tajikistan remained at the same level in April, increasing from 146 to 146.7 points.

Released on May 16, 2024, Consumer Confidence in Central Asia says some sub-indexes showed a multidirectional movement compared to March.  Most of all, the forecasts of residents regarding the economic situation in the next 12 months have improved.  On the other hand, estimates of the favorable current conditions for large purchases also fell markedly.


Record positive expectations for the economy

The share of optimistic respondents increased from 82.4% to 85.7%. By age, the greatest increase in optimism is recorded in the group of people aged 45-59 years: from 83.9 to 87.8%. As a result, this was the highest among all four age groups. Respondents of other ages generally showed a similar share of positive responses in the range of 84-86%.

In all regions, except the capital, there is an increase in the proportion of residents, who are waiting for the economic situation to improve.  In Dushanbe, the share of positive responses fell from 84.1% to 81.4%, which was the worst result among all regions.  In the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region and in districts subordinate to the center (RRP), this figure slightly exceeded 90%.  Districts subordinate to the center can be called the leader with a slight advantage, as they received more unambiguously positive responses. These two regions also showed the greatest progress compared to March.


Conditions for large purchases have slightly worsened

However, the sub-index of favorable current conditions for large purchases and expenditures fell by 1.8 points in April and reached 81.4 points.  This result is the lowest in the last seven months. 39.7% of respondents gave positive answers, although in March, there were slightly more such answers: 40.5%. Nevertheless, the main dramatic changes in the results occurred in the context of age groups. If the older respondents showed an increase in positive emotions, the dynamics was completely opposite for young people under the age of 29.  In March, 48% of young people indicated that the current conditions were favorable for large purchases, while in April, this share fell to 42.7%.  Among people over 60, the share of optimists increased from 39.6% to 46%, which was the best result among all age groups.  In addition, the share of positive responses among people aged 45-59 increased by 5.0 percentage points. It should also be noted that despite the deterioration of the results, young people took the second place.

In terms of regions, drastic changes are observed in GBAO, where the share of optimists sharply decreased from 54.4% to 35.7%, which was the worst indicator among all five regions.  Moreover, this indicator fell by a significant 9 percentage points in the districts of republican subordination. While the other three regions showed almost uniform results of the share of positive responses in a narrow range of 41-42%.


Lower inflation estimates and expectations

Inflation estimates and expectations of Tajikistanis showed a noticeable decline in April.  Record low results were recorded for the entire research period in absolutely all four parameters.  The share of respondents who noted a strong increase in prices over the past month decreased from 21.2 to 17.4%.  Over the past 12 months, the share of those who experienced faster price growth fell from 25.4 to 23.8%. Inflation expectations of Tajikistan residents also fell across both periods to the lowest levels in all of Central Asia.  Only 6.5% of residents expect a very strong rise in prices in the coming month, while there were 10.7% in March.  Over the one-year horizon, the share of people expecting faster price growth fell slightly from 9.3% to 9.1%.

Official inflation data for April has not yet been released, but annual inflation in March remained unchanged at 3.6%, reflecting a slight decline in inflationary sentiment among residents in the last wave of the survey. Among some products, the price of flour continues to be the most worrying for Tajikistan residents. 37% of respondents mentioned it as the product for which the price increase was most noticeable.  However, there were noticeably more such people (41.1%) in March. The research findings reportedly show a sharp increase in the share of those who noticed a strong increase in prices for vegetables and fruits (+4.3 percentage points), which was the second consecutive month of strong growth.  While meat and poultry, on the contrary, recorded a decline from 31.2 to 27.7%, which is still more than in February.  At the same time, in March, the official increase in meat prices accelerated, which affected the sentiment of residents last time.  Thus, annual inflation accelerated from 3.6% to 6% for meat and meat products, and from 6.4% to 9% for beef.  For fruits and vegetables, there is a slight slowdown in growth rates in March, while it is quite impressive 28.2% for fruits.


Slight drop in devaluation expectations

Devaluation expectations in Tajikistan generally showed a slight decrease in April compared to March. Let us note that the dollar exchange rate against the somoni has remained at almost the same levels over the past 14 months.  The share of those who expect the national currency to weaken during the month decreased from 15.6 to 14.2%, which is the lowest value for the entire period of the research. In the one-year horizon, 23.1% of the country’s population expects weakening (22.9% in March).