With food and gasoline costs surging, household budgets worldwide are feeling the pinch. But how people feel about the economy -- and how they are coping financially -- varies by country and region, The Economist recently reported.
Consumers in the Asia-Pacific region, for example, are more inclined to save than to splurge if they have spare money, while Russian consumers pump their extra cash into expanding their wardrobe, according to Nielsen.
Meanwhile, people in Nordic countries continue to spend money on travel and vacations, while Brazilians are happy to stay home.
Discretionary income has also become increasingly scarce in countries throughout Europe and North America, according to Nielsen. One-fifth of those surveyed by Nielsen in Britain, Germany, and France -- and a quarter of Americans -- have eliminated spending money for pleasure, The Economist noted.
Still, some small luxuries have remained immune to the economic gloom: 80% of Americans are continuing to shell out $10-$12 per ticket to catch movies on the big screen, Nielsen found.