Insights

Worldwide Spending Intentions Declined in Q2
Article

Worldwide Spending Intentions Declined in Q2

Global consumer confidence declined three index points to 91 in Q2 2012 amid a worsening euro zone crisis, lackluster U.S. job growth and China’s downward GDP revision for 2012, according to consumer confidence findings from Nielsen.

Intended discretionary spending and saving decreased globally in Q2 across all sectors reviewed. The biggest declines were reported for new technology products, down five points to 23 percent; out-of-home entertainment, down four points to 28 percent; and holidays/vacations, down three points to 30 percent. Saving intentions also waned among global respondents, dropping to 47 percent from 50 percent in Q1. Additionally, investing in shares of stocks/mutual funds and saving for retirement declined four points each to 19 percent and nine percent, respectively.

“Consumers are clearly proceeding with caution in relation to their spending intentions,” said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen. “Consumer confidence lost momentum in the second quarter as global events, including a worsening euro zone crisis coupled with slowing growth rates in China and India, impacted financial markets and consumer sentiment in many parts of the world. As renewed volatility entered global markets, consumers reacted by reining in spending and consumption intentions.”

In the latest round of the survey, conducted between May 4 and May 21, 2012, consumer confidence declined three points to 100 in Asia Pacific, four points to 88 in North America, and two points to 96 in Latin America. An increase of one point each in Middle East/Africa (98) and Europe (73) was reported. Overall, consumer confidence rose in 41 percent of global markets measured by Nielsen in Q2, compared to a 68 percent increase in the previous quarter. Confidence declined in 26 of 56 markets, increased in 23, and remained flat in seven.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, tracks consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 28,000 Internet consumers in 56 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.

Global Consumer Confidence - Spending Trends

Global Consumer Confidence - Spending Habits

Other notable findings include:

  • More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents changed spending habits to save on expenses
  • Concern for the economy and job security remained top worries among global respondents
  • More than half (57%) of global respondents said they are in recession and half of those believe it will continue for another year
  • Indonesia reported the highest consumer confidence index in the survey

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q2 2012 Consumer Confidence Report.