In contrast to the ongoing market challenges facing global fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers and retailers, consumers are in better spirits than they were at the end of 2016. In fact, global consumer confidence in the second quarter of 2017 has risen three index points since the close of last year, buoyed by increases in 41 of the 63 markets measured in the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index.
While North America retained the highest confidence level of any region measured in the index (117), confidence levels trended upward across most of the measured markets in Asia-Pacific, Europe and Latin America in the second quarter. Trends in Europe were particularly noteworthy, as the region posted its ninth straight quarter of confidence gains, with 22 of 33 countries seeing higher sentiment than at the close of 2016.
In addition to the global rise in consumer confidence over the past few months, overall sentiment has been rising steadily over the past year. In looking at the overall trend lines, confidence levels were higher in five of the world’s six regions than they were a year ago. Africa / Middle East saw the greatest change in confidence in the second quarter, with the index for the region rising five points to a score of 88 from 83, followed by Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
So what’s fueled the increased sentiment? In aggregate, the global confidence score increased because a greater proportion of consumers feel more positively about three key metrics: job prospects, the state of their personal finances and the belief that now is a good time to buy the things they want and need.
On the jobs front, sentiment about job prospects improved two points globally when compared against the end of 2016. Additionally, fewer global consumers believe their job prospects are worse now than they were in fourth-quarter 2016. Optimism levels about personal finances increased from a score of 47 at the end of 2016 to 50 among consumers who said their finances were “good.” Additionally, fewer people responded by saying “not so good” than in late 2016.
For additional insights, download Nielsen’s second-quarter Consumer Confidence Index report.
The Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate-spending intentions. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively. Within a country, period-to-period movements of seven points or more are considered statistically significant. At a global level, movements of two points are statistically significant; at a regional level, three to four-point movements are statistically significant. The index and other findings related to consumer confidence are based on data from the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions. Established in 2005, this survey measures consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with internet access in 63 countries.