In the latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, New Zealand consumer confidence lessened in the second quarter at an index of 96, slightly below the optimism baseline score of 100. The score of 96 is down three points from a score of 99 from both the previous quarter (Q1 2016) and a year ago (Q2 2015).
Over the last 10 years New Zealand has consistently scored confidence indices between 90 and 100, following the global financial crisis. Over a third of New Zealanders (35%) believe the country is in an economic recession.
In the latest online survey, conducted May 9-27, 2016, there were declines in the three key drivers of New Zealand’s confidence. Less than half (46%) said job prospects were good or excellent (from 52% in Q1), 55% were optimistic of their personal finances (from 57% in Q1) and two-fifths (39%) think it is a good time to buy what they want and need over the next year (from 44% in Q1).
Nick Tuffley, Chief Economist, ASB said, “A note of caution has crept into consumer attitudes. Over Q2 an increasing number of respondents said they would put any spare cash into savings or paying down debt, despite falls in interest rates this year and the prospect of more to come. The share of people who have changed spending habits to save money also increased”.
Tuffley adds, “2016 has, so far, had one surprise after another to digest. China’s share market meltdown kicked off the year, the Reserve Bank rushed to cut interest rates only to sit on the side lines for months after it became increasingly concerned by the surge in house prices. More recently has been the rise of Donald Trump in the U.S. and, after the survey period, the surprise U.K. vote to leave the EU. But the outlook for the local economy is still quite positive, with many export sectors faring well over the past 18 months”.
Established in 2005, the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index is fielded quarterly in 63 countries to measure the perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances, immediate spending intentions and related economic issues of real consumers around the world. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism respectively.
In North America, U.S. consumer confidence maintained positive momentum in the second quarter, increasing three points to 113 from the previous quarter.
In Asia-Pacific, confidence was relatively stable at 107, a one-point decrease from the first quarter. Japan’s confidence was of particular significance since it decreased four points to 69; it was Japan’s fourth consecutive quarter of declining scores, amid weak consumption and wage growth. Japan’s GDP has been on a declining trend since 1997 and is currently at 0.5%. Japan’s exports fell for the eighth consecutive month in May. China’s score increased one point to 106
In Latin America, confidence remained at 78, unchanged from the first quarter. Brazil’s score was flat at 74, while Peru’s score increased 11 points to 102.
In the Middle East/Africa, confidence was stable at 89, a one-point increase from the first quarter. The United Arab Emirates’ second-quarter score reversed a four-point decline in the first quarter with a five-point increase to 109.
In Europe, Germany’s confidence decreased one point to 96. Meanwhile, Nordic countries and Eastern Europe showed confidence increases in the second quarter.
For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q2 2016 Global Consumer Confidence Report. If you would like more detailed country-level data from this survey, it is available for sale in the Nielsen Store.
The second-quarter online survey was conducted May 9–27, 2016. The findings in this survey are based on an online methodology in 63 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration is still growing, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Three sub-Saharan African countries (Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria) utilize a mobile survey methodology and are not included in the global or Middle East/Africa averages discussed throughout this report. In addition, survey responses are based on claimed behaviour, rather than actual metered data. Cultural differences in reporting sentiment are likely factors in the measurement of economic outlook across countries. The reported results do not attempt to control or correct for these differences; therefore, caution should be exercised when comparing across countries and regions, particularly across regional boundaries.