Consumers around the world are becoming more optimistic that economic recovery is starting to take root according to the recently released Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey, and Chinese consumers in particular are feeling good about their prospects. Consumer confidence there increased 6 points from the March survey, and China jumped from tenth to sixth place in the global rankings behind Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Brazil and Australia.
Chinese consumer confidence is higher in the East and North regions of the country versus the South and the West, and consumers in smaller cities (i.e., not Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou or the provincial capitals) are generally more confident than those in the largest cities.
"Chinese consumer confidence appears to have been boosted successfully through the government's economic stimulus initiatives. Additionally, many consumers in smaller cities appear to have been less affected by the downturn in the first place, so recovery is less of an issue for them," said Mitch Barns, Greater China President, The Nielsen Company.
Half of Chinese surveyed said that local job prospects will be "good" or "excellent" in the next 12 months, compared to only 22 percent three months ago. Nearly half of Chinese consumers described their personal finances as "good" or "excellent," and more than 40 percent indicated a strong willingness to spend. Saving for a child's education continues to be a priority, with 42 percent saying that they would use spare cash for education. Residents of the largest cities, however, indicated a greater desire to invest in the stock market or go on holidays versus residents of smaller cities.
"In this latest survey, we have increased the number of people that we interview so that we can now, for the first time, look at these data by region and by city tier. The results are fascinating and it makes this an even more useful, insightful survey," said Barns. "China is a dynamic and diverse market. By zooming in on regions and city tiers to take a closer look at Chinese consumers, we can more clearly see where the opportunities are within the country - and there are many."