Global discretionary spending patterns remained stable and relatively unchanged from the previous quarter and last year, according to Nielsen’s Q3 Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions. Marginal quarterly increases (+1 percentage point) were reported for putting spare cash into savings (48%), new technology (24%), retirement funds (11%) and out-of-home entertainment (29%). Spending on new clothes (31%) and investing in shares of stocks and mutual funds (18%) declined by one percentage point each. Fourteen percent of global respondents reported having no spare cash, a one-point decline from 15 percent in the previous quarter and last year.
Saving intentions remained a priority among Asia-Pacific respondents, growing by four percentage points, to 64 percent. Three in 10 respondents invested in stocks and mutual funds and 14 percent saved for retirement, an increase from 11 percent in Q2. One-fourth of North Americans reported having no spare cash, the highest of any region last quarter but down from 29 percent in Q2.
“While the U.S. reported marginal housing and labor market improvements, the ongoing eurozone crisis continued to create global headwinds that impacted all regions, but especially Asia’s critical export market,” said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen “As key global economic indicators deteriorated last quarter, consumers remained uncertain and reticent to spend.”
For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q3 2012 Consumer Confidence Report.