Thursday, October 30, 2014

Nielsen: Slow, Steady Progress For Consumer Confidence

 Global consumer confidence edged up one index point in the third quarter to a score of 98—an increase of one point from the previous quarter and two points from the start of the year. The index, which has been on a slow and steady rise for two-and-a-half years (since Q1 2012), has now exceeded a pre-recession level of 94 for three consecutive quarters.

In the latest online survey, conducted Aug. 13-Sept. 5, 2014, consumer confidence increased in 65% of the markets measured by Nielsen, compared to 52% in the second quarter. Among the world’s biggest economies, consumer confidence increased four points in the U.S. (108), one point in Germany (97), three points in the U.K. (93) and four points in Japan (77), from the second quarter. Meanwhile, consumer confidence in China held steady at 111 for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Consumer confidence in the North America region improved most, rising four points to 107—a score that matches Asia-Pacific’s index for the first time in Nielsen’s Consumer Confidence history (since 2005). Asia-Pacific’s index increased one point. Confidence also increased three points in the Middle East/Africa (96), one point in Latin America (91) and one point in Europe (78), from the previous quarter.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.

The latest results reflect an outlook of cautious optimism, as every region’s consumer confidence score improved compared to the previous quarter.

  • 52% believed the job market would be good or excellent in the next 12 months, a 2 percentage-point increase from the second quarter.
  • 57% of global respondents rated their personal finances as good or excellent for the upcoming year, compared to the average annual low reported in 2009 of 46%—an 11 percentage-point increase. 
  • North American respondents showed the most dramatic increase in job prospect expectations, as perceptions about employment opportunities rose to 55% in the third quarter—a 9 percentage-point improvement in 12 months (from 46% in Q3 2013).

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