Consumer confidence in Australia remained relatively steady at 95 index points in the fourth quarter of 2013 (down one point from previous quarter) and on par with the global average of 94, according to Nielsen’s latest Global Survey of Consumer Confidence.
Concerns around rising gas and electricity costs continue to be the number one concern among Australians. Thirty percent of consumers say it is a major concern – the fourth highest globally and 16 points higher than the global benchmark of 14 percent.
Close to half (45%) of Australian consumers say local job prospects are good/excellent – a five point improvement on the previous quarter, but two points below the global average of 47 percent. More than two in five (43%) believe it’s a good time to buy things they want and need, and over half (54%) perceive their state of personal finances to be in good stead.
The key areas where consumers allocate their spare cash traditionally dips in the last quarter of the year in the lead up to the festive season. The number of consumers who channel their spare cash into savings in Q4 2013 declined nine percentage points versus the previous quarter to 41 percent; holidays and vacations declined eight points to 28 percent; while paying off debts, credit cards and loans dropped four points to 27 percent.
Around two in five (39%) Australian consumers say they have changed their spending habits to save on household expenses. Sixty-five percent of this group say they have changed their spending to save on gas and electricity, 58 percent are spending less on new clothes, while 57 percent are switching to cheaper grocery brands.
ABOUT THE NIELSEN GLOBAL SURVEY
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Nov. 11-29, 2013 and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behaviour of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10 million online population for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.