At a macro level, economic conditions around the globe ended 2018 on an upbeat note. Global consumer confidence was at its highest level in 14 years, but 39 of the 64 countries included in the global Consumer Confidence Index reported declines in consumer sentiment.
In a new gender-focused study, we looked at consumer confidence, economic sentiment and spending intentions by gender over the past five years to understand how the needs and wants of female consumers have evolved.
Globally, 58%of global consumers feel they are better off financially than they were five years ago, but there is also a sizeable proportion of consumers who feel that they are only in survival mode, with sentiment differing considerably by region and country.
A slight drop in consumer sentiment in the second quarter was reflected in a slight pullback in spending in certain markets, as skepticism about the future had some consumers feeling as though their free cash would be better served in savings rather than on discretionary purchases.
From a global perspective, prospects for the remainder of the year appear largely positive. In Q1, confidence grew across Western Europe, the economic recovery in Latin America looks promising in a number of markets, dollar sales of FMCG in North America performed well, and growing disposable incomes across Asia-Pacific are having an effect well beyond the immediate region.
Backed by improving global consumer confidence, many regions are seeing improved conditions for businesses and the fast-moving consumer goods industry. Here, we’ll look at trends in a few select countries.
Global consumer confidence increased modestly in 2016, a time of great political and economic change around the world, rising three points between the first and fourth quarters to 101. Confidence scores finished the year more strongly than they began in every region except Africa/Middle East.
While the third quarter of 2016 saw considerable economic diversity across the markets measured by Nielsen’s Global Survey, consumer confidence in the U.S. remained on solid footing with a score of 106, despite a decline of seven points from the second quarter.
Third-quarter 2016 global consumer confidence remained stable at 99, up one point from the second quarter and unchanged from third-quarter 2015. Country-level scores, however, varied dramatically throughout the regions, reflecting considerable economic diversity around the world.
Though global consumer confidence remained flat in the second quarter of 2016, confidence in the U.S. maintained positive momentum, increasing three points to 113 from the previous quarter. In fact, confidence has been at or above the optimism baseline of 100 for more than two years.
Global consumer confidence held steady in the second quarter of 2016 at 98, an index score that was flat from the first quarter and two points higher than a year earlier. North America was the only region to sustain growth momentum in the second quarter, demonstrating a three-point increase in confidence to 111.
Around the world, consumer confidence in the first quarter of 2016 showed a fair amount of country-by-country variation, with perhaps no better example than in North America, where confidence remained strong and above the optimism baseline in the U.S. at 110, but declined six points in Canada to 93.
Though global consumer confidence remained stable in the first quarter, there was notable variation on a country-by-country basis, and many markets noted a growing recessionary sentiment. In fact, six in 10 global respondents believed their nation’s economy was in recession in the first quarter.
What keeps you up at night? There’s probably more than just one thing: From anxieties about rising utility bills to worries about our personal health, to concerns about the well-being of our family, there’s a lot to think about.
Global consumer confidence ended 2015 on a subdued note as the index declined two points from the third quarter to 97. Compared to first-quarter 2015, confidence in the fourth quarter remained flat in Asia-Pacific at 107, while Europe edged up four points to 81. All other regions ended the year less confident than they started.
U.S. consumer confidence jumped 18 index points in the third quarter of 2015 to a score of 119 after a six-point decline in the previous quarter. The score marked the biggest quarterly increase and the highest index for the country in Nielsen’s 10-year consumer confidence history.
Our perception about personal finances is one factor that contributes to our confidence in the economy, which can impact our willingness to spend and save. Mirroring the rise in global consumer confidence in the third quarter, immediate spending intentions also increased, rising to 43%, up from a low of 30% in 2008 during the Great Recession.
Global consumer confidence increased three index points in the third quarter to 99. Optimistic sentiment for job prospects, personal finances and spending intentions increased in nearly half of all measured markets, but uneven growth continues around the world as confidence stabilizes or grows in many advanced economies and declines in many emerging markets.
U.S. consumer confidence decreased six index points in the second quarter to a score of 101, but it remained at an above-the-baseline optimistic level. Consumer confidence in Canada increased two points to 98 after declining six points in the first quarter. Despite these declines, confidence in both markets remained above the global average of 96.
Consumer confidence declined in six of seven Latin American markets measured by Nielsen in the second quarter, with Brazil (81) reporting the steepest quarterly drop of seven index points from three months ago. The decline represents the third consecutive quarter of declines for the region’s largest economy.
The way we view the economy and what’s in our wallets can have a direct impact on our willingness to spend and save. As such, it’s no surprise that changes in consumer confidence can influence the actions consumers say they take to save on household expenses. And as global consumer confidence declined in Q2, saving strategies continued to permeate the mindset of consumers around the world.
Global consumer confidence declined one index point in the second quarter to a score of 96. Regionally, confidence continued to rise in Europe, increasing two points to 79. Confidence held stead in Asia-Pacific, but fell in the three remaining regions.
U.S. consumer confidence increased one index point in the first quarter to a score of 107, maintaining an above-the-baseline optimism level for a year now. Conversely, confidence declined six points in Canada to a score of 96, marking the country’s lowest score since 2012.
In Q1, Millennial respondents were more eager to spend—especially those in the 25-29 age range. In fact, their spending intent for holidays/vacations, new clothes and out-of-home entertainment exceeded the global averages by as much 10 percentage points.
Starting the year positively, global consumer confidence saw an increase of one point from fourth-quarter 2014, with an index score of 97. After a slight dip at the end of last year, when all regional confidence scores declined, it was a more upbeat start to the year, as confidence increased slightly or remained stable in every region except Latin America.
While global sentiment about personal finances and the costs of living has been trending up for about two years now, men and women aren’t exactly on the same page when it comes to what’s in their pockets. Generally speaking, women see a bright side, but men are seeing an even brighter side.
Consumer confidence in North America dropped one index point in the fourth quarter, but it rose a robust 11 points from the previous year. Within the region, U.S. consumer confidence decreased two index points in the fourth quarter to a score of 106, while confidence in Canada fell one point to an index level of 102.
As global consumer confidence has been on a slow and steady rise for two-and-a half years, concerns about the economy have waned. So what’s keeping us awake at night? While the economy remains a top common concern around the world, fears about war increased in four out of five regions of the world.
Consumer confidence in North America rose four index points in the third quarter to 107—a score that matches Asia-Pacific’s score for the first time since 2005. Confidence in the U.S. increased four points for the second consecutive quarter and confidence increased one point from the previous quarter to 103.
Are you a glass half empty or half full kind of person? If you are the latter, then you’d be pleased to know that just over half of global respondents in Q3 believed the job market would be good or excellent in the next 12 months. This modest increase follows steady but small upticks reported since 2009.
Positive perceptions about local job prospects over the next 12 months increased in the first quarter of 2014 in every region around the world except in Latin America. Almost half of global respondents believed the job market would be good or excellent in the upcoming year, up 2 percentage points from year-end 2013.
Reticent consumers are eager to open up their wallets, but they know that global economic conditions are still fragile. Backed by growing optimism, discretionary spending intentions around the world increased across all categories measured in the third quarter compared with those three months earlier.
Global consumer confidence measured an index level of 94 in Q3 2013, flat from Q2, but sentiment brightened notably in the U.S. and Europe. In the latest round of the survey, consumer confidence increased in more than half (57%) of the markets Nielsen measures, compared with 45% in the previous quarter.
People around the world believe in their local education programs, predominantly those that pertain to the primary (grades 1-8) and secondary (grades 9-12) levels, according to online respondents to a Nielsen global survey on education attainment.
Consumer confidence increased in four of six Middle East/Africa markets, boosting the regional average by six index points in the second quarter, which came after an 11-point regional index decline in the first quarter, according to findings from the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions.
More North Americans had discretionary income in the second quarter than they did at the start of the year, according to findings from the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions. One-fifth (21%) of North Americans reported having no spare cash, which was an improvement from 26 percent reported in the first quarter.
More than half (55%) of global respondents to a Nielsen online survey believed they were in a recession in the second quarter--the lowest level reported since Q1 2011. The recessionary mindset among North Americans strengthened the most during the three-month period, declining six percentage points to 69 percent.
Global consumer confidence increased one point to an index of 94 in the second quarter, according to consumer confidence findings from Nielsen. The increase is part of a slow, but steady upward movement in consumer sentiment reported in the first half of the year.
Global consumer confidence increased in the first quarter of 2013, rising two index points to 93, compared with Q4 2012. Improved consumer attitudes about job prospects, personal finances and the ability to spend in key global markets helped drive the quarterly uptick.