SUMMARY: Third quarter 2010 data shows a divided Europe. Turkey and Slovakia continue to demonstrate a strong recovery, followed by the UK, though growths here are predominantly driven by inflation. Of little surprise to anyone, however, is that Ireland and Greece remain the weakest markets in Europe.
By: Jean-Jacques Vandenheede, European Business Insight Director
Third quarter 2010 value growth rose 2.3 percent across Europe, an encouraging sign after a dismal second quarter, which was negatively affected by the calendar: Easter came early this year, and the sales boost traditionally associated with the holiday were reflected in the first quarter. Overall, however, Q3 2010 results were consistent with recent trends (Q3 2009 showed growth of 2.6 percent). Volume remained relatively unchanged in most markets. Turkey showed the strongest volume growth at 6 percent and, combined with 4 percent value growth, was the only market in Europe showing double digit nominal growth. Ireland, meanwhile, recorded losses in both value and volume, resulting in -3.3 percent nominal value growth.
The results were in line with Nielsen’s consumer confidence survey for Q3 which found that consumers continue to be extremely cautious about the state of the economy. Concerns about job security and the state of personal finances remain top of mind for many, and until people are convinced of recovery, they are likely to watch their spending, continue to seek value for money and save whatever spare pounds, Euros or Kroners they may have which more people now say they don’t have.
For country-by-country analysis, download the Nielsen European Growth Reporter (Q3 2010).