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India Continues To Lead The Global Confidence Index With 129 Points In Q4 2014

Optimism increases by 14 points from 115 in Q4 2013

India continues to lead the global confidence index for the quarter with a three point increase from last quarter followed by Indonesia and Philippines. The Consumer confidence in urban India rose to a score of 129 in Q4 2014 – a three point increase from last quarter (126 in Q3 2014), and a 14 point increase from the last year’s index, same quarter (115 in Q4 2013). India is followed by Indonesia and Philippines with a score of 120 each. These are the consumer confidence findings from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.

In the latest online survey, conducted Nov. 10-28, 2014, over four in five (82%) urban Indian respondents indicated the highest level of optimism globally on job prospects in the next 12 months, followed by Indonesia (73%) and Philippines (73%). In the same quarter last year 70 percent (Q4 2013) were optimistic about their job prospects.

“The urban online consumer in India ended ending the year far more optimistically as compared to last year, and even last quarter and ends on an encouraging note. The increased consumer sentiment is also aided by lower inflation rates and the positive economic environment and development initiatives led by the new government that have been instrumental in driving the India growth story”, said Piyush Mathur, president, Nielsen India Region. “This uptick in confidence is echoed across sectors – the fast moving consumer goods is industry is looking to grow by double digits in CY 2015, credit card penetration is rising, home loan disbursement in higher than in the third quarter, auto sales are also improving”.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access[1] in 60 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively. The latest results reflect an outlook of cautious optimism, as every region’s consumer confidence score improved compared to the previous quarter.

Discretionary Spending & Savings

Over three in five (61%) online respondents polled indicated this is a good time to buy things they want and need, two percent rise from last quarter (59% in Q3 2014). From the same time last year good time to buy things they want and need has gone up by 12 percent (49% in Q42013).

When it comes to investing spare cash, 62 percent indicated it is a good time to put spare cash into savings. Half (50%) of respondents polled purchasing new technology products, up 11 percent from Q4 2013.

The purchase intent for new clothes by urban online respondents has increased by 7 percentage points to 44% this quarter from 37% in Q4 2013.  When it comes to creating a corpus of funds for the future a third (30%) indicated they will invest in mutual funds and 27% in a retirement fund.

“There is a stark increase in the sentiment amongst urban affluent consumers from last quarter last year, to the same time period this year. If we focus on 2014 – we notice a steady uptick in discretionary spending buoyed by the lower inflation. The consumer however continues to be cautious and is looking to close the year on a balanced note”, said Mathur.

78% respondents have changed their spending habits to save on expenses. The top three avenues this quarter are saving on gas and electricity (47%), spending less on new clothes (45%), and cutting down on holidays and short breaks (37%).

Personal Finances, Concerns

Seventy-eight percent urban Indian respondents indicated that the state of personal finances was good or excellent in the fourth quarter of 2014, six percentage points up from the same time last year (71% in Q4 2013). The top concerns are job security (21%), sustaining a work-life balance (12%), followed by state of the economy (10%).

About The Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005. This Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Nov. 10-28, 2014 and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 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 its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country.

Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China.

The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. These three countries were added to Nielsen’s measurement of consumer confidence in the first quarter of 2014 using a mobile survey methodology, which differs from the online methodology used to report consumer confidence and spending intentions for the other 60 countries outlined in this report. As such, the three sub-Saharan African markets are not included in the global or Middle East/Africa averages discussed throughout this report.

About Nielsen

Nielsen 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 and mobile measurement. 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.

[Note 1] While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.