Nielsen’s latest Global Consumer Confidence Index has found that Australian consumers are more concerned about money than five years ago. Less than half the country feels optimistic about their personal finance outlook, a 20 percentage point drop since 2010.
When positivity toward consumer confidence in Australia reached its peak in Q3 2010, the major concerns for consumers were primarily focused around rising utility bills and work/life balance.
In the latest Nielsen data, the major concerns have shifted to job security and the economy. Work/life balance has taken a back seat as a major concern for now as people deal with more primary issues.
A growing number of consumers have also pointed out that they have no disposable cash left over each month, up 10% in five years. This means it’s harder for both retailers and manufacturers to find growth. However, our retail analysis shows that businesses and brands that are adapting to a more cautious consumer will win. While value is important, consumers are still seeking affordable indulgences such as premium chocolate, yoghurt and ice cream.
Our outlook on job security has also been cut in half over the last five years, with only a third of consumers indicating they think job prospects are either good or excellent for the next 12 months, down from almost nine in ten in 2010.
In contrast to Australia’s confidence levels, the global average for consumer confidence has seen a nine index point rise in the last five years, driven mostly by positive sentiment out of the U.S., India and Southeast Asia markets.
Since 2010, Australian consumer confidence has been slowly fading, and now sits behind the U.K., the U.S. and the global average. Global consumer confidence increased three index points in the third quarter to reach a score of 99 points, the highest level since 2006. Optimistic sentiment for job prospects, personal finances and spending intentions increased in nearly half (48%) of all measured markets, but uneven growth continues around the world as confidence stabilises and grows in many advanced economies and declines in many emerging markets.
For more global detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q3 2015 Global Consumer Confidence Report.