CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INCREASES ACROSS EUROPE, WITH NORDIC SENTIMENT HEALTHY OVERALL
Quarter three 2016 saw consumer confidence in 26 European markets improve versus the previous quarter, but confidence levels vary greatly between countries in the region, with Denmark recording Europe’s highest score of 107; a marked contrast to the region’s low score of only 50, as measured in the Ukraine.
These results are taken from the quarterly Nielsen Consumer Confidence survey. The survey is polled globally and in Europe, covers 34 countries asking consumers how they feel about job prospects, personal finances and major concerns.
A focus on the Nordics – is Danish optimism faltering?
Confidence levels in Norway have improved, with the market posting an increase of four points to 86. In Sweden confidence increased one point (91) and in Finland it stayed flat versus the second quarter (64). Confidence in Denmark has declined five points to 107 but despite this, the country continues to be the most optimistic in Europe, followed by the UK and Ireland.
When asked to consider job prospects in the coming 12 months, Denmark remains the most optimistic of the Nordic countries, with 56 percent of respondents rating the outlook good or excellent for the year to come. Conversely, Finnish consumers are the most pessimistic – here only 7 percent feel job prospects are good or excellent. Positive sentiment about jobs has increased eight percentage points in Sweden (to 42 percent) and seven percentage points in Norway (29 percent). Danish respondents are the most confident about personal finances, with around two-thirds feeling positive here, however this score is a decline from 72 percent in the second quarter.
Spending Intentions – Saving Ingrained in Nordic Culture
Putting cash into savings continues to be the top priority among Norwegian (46 percent), Danish (45 percent) and Swedish (45 percent) consumers. This is also a top priority for Finnish respondents, with 30 percent saying they save; however, 27 percent of respondents in Finland claim to have no spare cash at all. This ranks among the highest in Europe citing no spare cash, together with Ukraine (30 percent) and Latvia (27 percent).
Intention to spend on lifestyle goods and activities has declined markedly in Denmark, with the most significant quarterly drop (-11 percentage points) cited for out-of-home entertainment, and new clothes (-7 percentage points).
Major Concerns – Terrorism and the Economy
When asked about their major concerns, terrorism continued to be the leading worry for Swedes, Norwegians and Danes, with 26 percent of respondents citing this in each market. Meanwhile, in Finland, the economy remained the biggest concern (27 percent), however, this number has fallen significantly (eight percentage points) from the second quarter.
About the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted between August 10 – September 2, 2016, and asked 30,000 people globally about their feelings on personal finances, spending intentions and job prospects. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.