While global consumer confidence showed signs of life in the third quarter, rising one index point from the previous quarter to a score of 98, respondents in Europe showed a more tentative outlook. Consumer confidence in Europe increased in 59% of markets measured in the third quarter, compared with 72% that increased in the second quarter, while six of 32 markets reported no change. Germany, the biggest economy in the region, highlighted a silver lining for the region, where confidence increased one index point to a score of 97. The increase was a continuation of small upticks over the past several quarters, which brings the country to a near-baseline score, standing in stark contrast to the average index score in the region of 78.
“Compared with most eurozone countries, the German economy has prospered so far,” said Ingo Schier, managing director, Nielsen Germany. “Increasing incomes, stable food prices and a robust labor market are helping to keep German consumer confidence at a higher level than that of other countries in the region. But the next few months will be critical, as weaker economies have the potential to affect German consumer confidence.”
The biggest regional index increases from the second quarter came from Slovenia (up nine to 58), Bulgaria (up seven to 76), the Netherlands (up six to 87), Turkey (up six to 87) and Sweden (up six to 90). Other notable confidence improvements included an increase of three points in the U.K. to a score of 93—the third consecutive quarter of rising optimism. Russia’s index also increased for the third consecutive quarter to a score of 87. Conversely, confidence in France (59) and Italy (47) both declined, dropping one and four points, respectively, from their levels in the second quarter.
“In Russia, consumer sentiment is improving and consumption levels for fast-moving consumer goods remain stable, which is a positive sign in today’s tense political and economic environment,” said Kyriakos Kyriakou, managing director, Nielsen Eastern Europe. “Consumers are not switching to saving strategies on a large scale, and premium brands are holding their positions well. Nevertheless, the balance between spending as usual and cost-cutting is a delicate one, and manufacturers and retailers should be prepared with strategies that offer good ‘value for money’ deals to consumers.”
For a deeper look at the survey findings, view nine years of historical consumer confidence data with Nielsen’s Global Consumer Confidence Trend Tracker. The tool allows you to explore data, compare markets and see trends with just a click.
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The findings in this survey are based on respondents with online access across 60 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.