After a dynamic first half of 2014, which included the eruption of the Crimean crisis in the Ukraine, the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa and the dazzle of the World Cup Football in Brazil, the third quarter continued in a less tumultuous mode.
The eurozone’s economy showed its fragility as one of its strongest economies, Germany, narrowly escaped a recession. Though France’s economy grew slightly better than expected (up 0.3%), Italy’s economy was in the red for the third quarter in a row. Across the pond, the U.S. showed its resilience with its better-than expected economic results as it remained largely unaffected by Europe’s sluggishness, Japan’s recession and China’s continued slowdown.
According to Nielsen, consumer confidence rose again one index point to 98, making slow and steady progress. Echoing the strong economic results from both Canada and the United States, confidence in North America rose four points to 107, finally matching confidence in the Asia Pacific. Most North Americans were positive about immediate spending intentions as North America was the only region to reach a majority percentage of 51%.
Despite increasing confidence globally, advertisers pulled in the reigns, with spending increasing only slightly by 0.2% during the third quarter and 3.0% year-over-year for the period from January to September.
The more optimistic figures that were seen in the second quarter reversed in the third, as trends increasingly slowed during the consecutive months of July (+1.1%), August (+0.6%) and September (-0.8%).