Auckland: 1 November 2012 – New Zealand consumer confidence increased to 95, rising above the global average, in Q3 2012 which but was down three index points from the same time last year (Q3 2011), according to Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.
In the latest round of the survey, conducted between August 10 and September 7, 2012, New Zealand indexed above both the US (90) and UK (77). Australian consumer confidence increased by eight points and is now at 98. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.
Rob Clark, Managing Director, Nielsen New Zealand observes: “Improving consumer sentiment continues to be a slow process, we have seen increases over the last three quarters but spare cash after living expenses is primarily being put into savings or paying off debt, credit cards or loans”.
Clark continues, “When not saving, 1 in 5 consumers plan to spend spare cash on holidays, new clothes and out of home entertainment, good signs for these industries over Christmas and the summer period.”
7 out of 10 respondents stated they have changed their spending habits to save on household expenditure compared to the previous year. Nearly two thirds of consumers saved on expenditure by trying to save on gas and electricity (65%), cutting down on takeaway meals (63%) and switching to cheaper grocery brands (61%).
Clark adds, “Retailers understand market conditions and the everyday cost of living pressures consumers face. They now need to find ways to provide the additional value New Zealanders search for, not necessarily on price but also innovation and customer service.”
The Global Perspective
When reviewing global figures, Nielsen’s research shows that North America and Europe reported the only quarterly consumer confidence increases, rising three index points to 91 and one point to 74, respectively. Asia-Pacific (100) and Middle East/Africa (98) regions remained flat in Q3 and Latin America decreased two index points to 94.
India (119) and Indonesia (119) reported the highest index scores in Q3 while China’s index score remained unchanged from Q2 (106) and the US increased three points to 90.
The biggest quarterly consumer confidence gains in Q3 were reported in Switzerland (+10), Belgium (+9), Australia (+8), Thailand (+8), Hungary (+7), Norway (+7), United Arab Emirates (+6), Italy (+5) and Canada (+5).
The biggest quarterly consumer confidence declines in Q3 were reported in Hong Kong (-15), Argentina (-11), South Korea (-10), Vietnam (-8), Colombia (-8), Israel (-7), Venezuela, (-7), Malaysia (-6) and Finland (-5).
About the Nielsen Global Survey
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted August 10 – September 7, 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, and 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 conducted among 3,500 respondents in China. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.
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.