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India Tops Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index at 121 Points in Q4 2012

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February 5, 2013

More than one in five consumers feels it is a good time to buy 
Job security, economy remain biggest concerns for the online Indian

Consumer Consumer confidence in India increased two points to 121 in Q4 2012 from last quarter, according to consumer confidence findings from Nielsen , a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. India has picked up on levels of optimism from Q2 and Q3 , where it was steady at 119 points, though lower from Q1 when confidence levels were at 123 points. For the same period last year, India’s index stood at 122. 

“As the year ends, the rise in optimism is welcome, and is being encouraged by marketers who are sensitized to the pressures consumers have been facing through the year. The aspirational Indian is willing to upgrade, while more value conscious consumers are more responsive to deals and buying in bulk to keep expenditure buoyant,” said Piyush Mathur, president, Nielsen India Region. 

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns, and spending intentions among more than 29,000 respondents with Internet access in 58 countries. In the latest round of the survey, conducted between November 10 and November 27, 2012, consumer confidence declined in 33 countries, and increased in 19 countries, compared to the prior quarter. 

Discretionary Spending & Savings 

Fifty-four percent of respondents in India indicated they would put spare cash into savings, eight percentage points lower than last quarter (62% in Q3). Thirty-nine percent said they would invest in new technology and products , while 36 percent reported they would spend sparce cash on new clothes.  

Fifty-five percent of Indian respondents said they consider it a good time to buy things they want and need in Q4. Optimism levels have increased six percentage points from last quarter, when 49 percent (in Q3) claimed it was a favorable time to buy, and is one percentage point lower than the same period last year (54% in Q4 2011).

Slightly more than four in five online consumers (81%) indicated they have changed their spending habits to save on household expenses. The top three actions that these consumers have taken are to save on gas and electricity ( 53%) , spend less on new clothes (49%), and cut down on telephone expenses ( 38%). 

“The fourth quarter highlights the willingness of people to spend during the holidays and festival season. This is highlighted by the sharp difference between the third and fourth quarter in terms of buying activity.The optimism, though, is tempered with a judicious controlling of household and discretionary expenses in order to balance the household budget,” said Mathur. 

Perceptions of Job Prospects, Personal Finances 

In Q4, 76 percent of online respondents in India are optimistic about their job prospects in the next 12 months , a point below the 77 percent in Q3 2012, and two points below the same period last year (78% Q4 2011). Optimism on personal finances in Q4 is the same at 76 percent as in Q3. 

Globally 76 percent of online consumers in India and Philippines are the most optimistic about job prospects in the next 12 months, followed by online consumers in Thailand (70%) and China (70%). 

Job Security and Economy Remain Key Concerns 

Nielsen’s survey shows that job security and state of the economy continue to be the top concerns for Indian respondents. For one in five respondents (20%), job security is the biggest concern in Q4 , down two points from Q3 (22%). The state of the economy is the biggest concern for 11 percent of respondents, down by three points from Q3 (14%). Well-being of parents (9%) and fair work-life balance (9%) are the other two biggest concern areas. 

One in 10 Indian respondents (10%) indicated that increasing food prices are the second biggest concern this quarter, up three points from Q3 (7%).   

Slightly more than three in five online respondents (61%) said they believe India is going through an economic recession this quarter, one percentage point lower than Q3 (62%).More than half (51%) of the online respondents believe that the country would be out of recession in the next 12 months. 

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted between November 10–27, 2012, and polled more than 29,000 online consumers in 58 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers, and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. 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-percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows, and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com