Global consumer confidence ended 2014 with an index score of 96—a decline of two index points from the previous quarter, which comes after several quarters of positive momentum. While confidence fell slightly in every region in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter, the global index closed the year up two points from last year (94 in Q4 2013). The index, which has been on a slow and steady rise for about two years, is still above a pre-recession level of 94 from third-quarter 2007.
Consumer confidence declined one point in North America (106) and Asia-Pacific (106) in the fourth quarter—the only regions to score above the baseline reading of 100. Confidence also decreased one point in the Middle East/Africa (95), three points in Latin America (88) and two points in Europe (76) from the previous quarter.
Among the world’s biggest economies, consumer confidence decreased two points in the U.S. (106), four points in China (107) and four points in Japan (73). Conversely, confidence rose one point each in Germany (98) and in the U.K. (94).
Still, year-over-year, confidence scores in 39 of 60 markets improved. And while all global consumer confidence indicators declined in the fourth quarter—job prospects (-3 percentage points), personal finances (-1 pp) and immediate spending intentions (-1 pp)—year-over-year performance was positive.
In the latest online survey, conducted Nov. 10-28, 2014, consumer confidence increased in 17 of 60 markets measured by Nielsen (28%), compared with 39 markets (65%) in the third quarter. India’s score of 129, the highest index among 60 markets, increased three points from the third quarter. Italy reported the lowest score of 45, a quarterly decline of two points. Ireland (90) showed the biggest improvement, as confidence there rose six percentage points. Malaysia (89) logged the biggest decline, as confidence there fell 10 points from the previous quarter.