London, U.K. – Feb. 22, 2019 – Around the world consumers are displaying a strengthening sense of optimism about their financial wellbeing, particularly in developing markets throughout Asia Pacific, Africa, Middle East and Latin America, according to a new study by global measurement company, Nielsen.
Nielsen’s Changing Consumer Prosperity study, which tracks consumers’ sentiment toward their financial position and willingness to spend, found that 58% of consumers globally believe they are financially better off than they were five years ago. Consumers in developing markets in Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East and Latin America are more optimistic compared to the developed markets. Just over one third of consumers in Europe (37%) feel financially better off than they did five years ago.
Markets in Central and Eastern European such as Hungary (up +21% vs 2016) recorded the biggest improvement in positive consumer sentiment followed by Poland, Bulgaria and Slovenia (up +14% vs 2016). Markets in Western European region such as Portugal, Ireland and Spain recorded higher positive consumer sentiment followed by Sweden, Austria, Norway and Germany.
This Nielsen report reveals that globally 44% of consumers are spending more on groceries over the last five years. In European markets 39% of consumers are spending on groceries, followed by other categories such as utilities, household goods, rent and tech communication that have recorded increased consumer spending.
Despite the strengthening in consumers’ sentiment around their finances, many are feeling the pressure of rising living costs. In Europe, only 10% of consumers feel they are able to spend freely, while less than half of consumers (48%) say they are only able to cover their basic living costs.
“It's interesting to note that while many consumers are feeling more financially stable than they did in the past, this isn't necessarily translating to willingness or confidence to spend freely,” observes Pedro Manosalva, Retailer Services, Nielsen. “Global market volatility and consumers’ perceived circumstances could be playing a role in their cautious approach to managing their finances and spending across categories. The retail landscape is undergoing a shift in many markets as consumers are adapting their spends on the basis of personal priorities and price points.”
For additional insights, download the Changing Consumer Prosperity report.
The Nielsen Changing Consumer Prosperity report presents consumers’ sentiment towards their financial situations, their purchasing behaviour and impact on spending over time. It reveals consumer spending dynamics by regions covering 64 markets, including the top categories consumers are spending more on, along with top categories where consumers are willing to pay a premium. The insights will assist retailers and manufacturers in understanding consumer attitude in future spending and positioning products based on the opportunities that lie in premium and value segments in FMCG.
The Global Survey is an Internet survey that takes about 30 minutes to complete. The sample is sourced from external sample providers. The sample includes Internet users who agreed to participate in this survey and has quotas based on age and sex for each country. It is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers by country. These quotas are reviewed at a country level by Data Science. 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% Internet penetration or 10 million online population for survey inclusion.
Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.