Europe reported a stark reversal of consumer conu001fdence performance in Q1 compared with Q4 2012. At the end of last year, consumer conu001fdence fell in 20 of 29 European markets. In Q1, the opposite trend was reported as consumer conu001fdence rose in 18 of 29 markets.
“While this is a promising sign for the region, there is a polarization of recession versus recovery rates between debt-ridden southern Europe and recovering central and northern countries,” said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen. Fifty-eight percent of Swiss and 63 percent of Norwegians were optimistic about job prospects in the next year, compared to u001fve percent of Spanish, three percent of Portuguese, and eight percent of Italians.