Consumer confidence in Europe rose two index points to 75 in the first quarter, with increases reported in 21 of 32 markets. And this quarter’s biggest increases came from some of the region’s lowest index performers. Confidence in France (59) and Greece (53) increased eight points each, and Portugal (51) and Spain (61) increased seven and three points, respectively, compared to fourth-quarter 2013.
“The long road to recovery in Europe has begun in key markets, such as France, Italy and Spain,” said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen. “Germany continues to perform well, reporting the lowest unemployment rate in the euro zone, and recovery in the U.K. continues to gather momentum."
Consumer confidence in Germany remained robust with an index score of 99, an increase of four points from the previous quarter and the country’s highest index recorded since Nielsen began measuring consumer confidence in 2005.
“In Germany, the consumer confidence index reached a new record high,” said Ingo Schier, managing director, Nielsen Germany. “After 100 days under the new government, the waive on tax increases, as well as the introduction of minimum wages and pensions for mothers, are measures that helped to strengthen optimism about the future. As Germany plays an important role in the broader European context, this optimism spells good news for the region.”
Future job prospects in Europe increased in 24 of 32 markets. The most notable job optimism increases came from Switzerland, up 8 percentage points, while Austria, Ireland, Greece and Estonia posted increases of 6 percentage points each.
In the wake of recent events in the region, consumer confidence in Russia increased four index points to 83 in the first quarter, while Ukraine declined seven index points to 56—the country’s lowest score since it was added to the Nielsen Global Survey in second-quarter 2009.
“In Ukraine, the drop in consumer confidence is not surprising as recent events spurred by the conflict in Crimea are creating fear and uncertainty in the country,” said Svyatoslava Svyst, market leader, Nielsen Ukraine. “The danger of war and the severe currency devaluation contributed to consumer doubts about the country’s future financial and economic stability.”
Other findings include:
For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q1 2014 Global Consumer Confidence Report.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Feb. 17, 2014–March 7, 2014, and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and it's weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6 percent. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10 million online population for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.