Though global consumer confidence remained stable in the first quarter with a one-point increase from the previous quarter, significant variation existed on a country-by-country basis.
Despite security scares in the fourth quarter, Belgian consumer confidence remained relatively stable in the first quarter – declining four points to 82. Importantly, as consumers were surveyed between 1 to 23 March, these results do not fully capture the impacts on sentiment resulting from the Brussels Bombings on 22 March.
While confidence about job prospects increased by three points, only 32% of Belgians feel that their job prospects in the next 12 months were either good or excellent. Sentiment on immediate spending intentions declined six points to 36%, and confidence about personal finances declined two points from Q4 to 42%.
“While the global consumer confidence index has been largely unchanged over the past several quarters, beneath that we see a fair amount of variation in the confidence of individual countries,” said Louise Keely, senior vice president, Nielsen, and president, The Demand Institute. “While 11 countries out of 61 saw their confidence increase five or more points relative to a year ago, 21 saw confidence fall five or more points compared to the first quarter of 2015. There is no one cause for these shifts in confidence; the reasons are market-specific. In many oil-exporting countries, confidence is down relative to a year ago as oil prices fell—even though oil prices have increased slightly in early 2016. At the same time, in some European markets such as Spain and Portugal confidence is up markedly from a year ago, as unemployment rates have fallen and consumer price inflation has not yet picked up.”
Global consumer confidence remained stable in the first quarter and below the optimism baseline score of 100, edging up one index point to 98.
For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q1 2016 Global Consumer Confidence Report. If you would like more detailed country-level data from this survey, it is available for sale in the Nielsen Store.
*As Belarus and Kazakhstan were added in the first quarter of 2016, these two markets are not included in the total number of measured online markets where recessionary sentiment grew.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted March 1-23, 2016, and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 63 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample includes Internet users who agreed to participate in this survey and has quotas based on age and sex for each country. It is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers by country. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. However, a probability sample of equivalent size would have a margin of error of ±0.6% at the global level. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.