Global consumer confidence started 2015 with an index score of 97—an increase of one point from fourth-quarter 2014 and from a year ago. Compared to the end of last year, when all regional confidence scores declined, it was a more upbeat start to the year, as confidence increased slightly or remained stable in every region except Latin America.
Consumer confidence increased one point in Asia-Pacific, posting the highest quarterly regional index score of 107, while North America held steady at 106. Confidence in the Middle East/Africa (96) and Europe (77) edged up one point in the first quarter, but decreased two points in Latin America (86)—the region’s lowest score since 2011.
Among the world’s largest economies, consumer confidence increased most in Japan, rising nine points to 82 in the first quarter, which was the country’s highest score since 2005—the start of Nielsen’s consumer confidence index measurement. Germany also reached a milestone: Sentiment increased two points to reach the baseline score of 100. Confidence also increased one point in the U.S. (107), three points in the U.K. (97) and three points in France (60). Conversely, confidence in China decreased one point to 106 from fourth-quarter 2014.
In the latest online survey, conducted Feb. 23-March 13, 2015, consumer confidence increased in 37 of 60 markets measured by Nielsen (61%), compared with only 17 of 60 markets (28%) in the previous quarter. India’s score of 130, the highest score among 60 markets, was one point higher than in fourth-quarter 2014, followed by Indonesia (123), the Philippines (115) and the United Arab Emirates (115). Italy (57) showed the biggest quarterly improvement, as confidence rose 12 points from fourth-quarter 2014. The Ukraine reported the lowest score of 41, a quarterly decline of 11 points—the biggest drop in the survey.