Regional consumer confidence held steady in Europe for the final quarter of 2016 according to the results of the latest Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence survey. The confidence index, at 81, stays unchanged for the whole of Europe but levels have fluctuated market-by-market versus the previous quarter. Confidence has grown in 16 European markets, fallen in 14 and remains flat in four.
The Consumer Confidence Index is derived from Nielsen’s Global Consumer Confidence survey, which is polled four times a year in markets across the world. The survey asks 30,000 consumers how they feel about the economic outlook, their own personal finances and their job prospects.
When looking at the Nordics, Sweden (95) and Finland (68) see consumer confidence levels increase by four points respectively. In Norway the increase is less marked, with a one point gain to 87. While confidence levels in Denmark remain flat versus the previous period, with an index of 107, the country continues as the most optimistic in Europe, followed by Czech Republic and Switzerland.
Respondents are slightly less positive about job prospects in Denmark than they were earlier in 2016, but again, the Danes are the most optimistic of all Nordic countries on this matter, with 53 per cent rating the job outlook good or excellent for the year to come. Finnish consumers are the most pessimistic; here only 10 percent feel the outlook is favorable, although this is an increase of three percentage points from the previous period. The job outlook improved two percentage points in Sweden (44 per cent citing as good or excellent) and one point in Norway (30 percent).
When asked how they feel about their own personal finances, the study reveals that sentiment has improved in all Nordic countries; notably it rose a remarkable seven percentage points in Finland, with 41 percept saying they feel their own personal finances are good or excellent. Immediate spending intentions also improved slightly in all Nordic countries.
Putting cash into savings continues to be the top priority among Danish (48 percent), Norwegian (47 percent) and Swedish (43 percent) consumers. Paying off debts, credit cards and loans is a top priority for Finnish respondents (27 percent); however, 28 per cent of Finns claim they have no spare cash at all.
Concern about terrorism fell significantly in Nordic countries in the fourth quarter, with the largest decline in Denmark (down 14 points). Terrorism fears fell 10 points in Norway, seven points in Finland and four points in Sweden. However, terrorism continues to be a leading concern for Swedes (22 percent). Meanwhile, the economy is the biggest concern for Finns (27 percent), Norwegians (22 percent) and Danes (19 percent).