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Global consumer confidence index (CCI) edged up 2 points to 101 in the fourth quarter of 2016, while in contrast, Taiwan consumer confidence has taken a three-point decline to 72 in the same quarter, signaling more reserved views on employment and personal finance.

In Nielsen’s latest CCI survey, global consumer confidence saw a two-point adjustment to 101. Regionally, North American consumer confidence rebounded significantly to 120, increasing 15 points, followed by South East Asia (115, +0) and Asia Pacific (111, +2). Consumer confidence in Latin America (83), Africa/Middle East (83) and Europe remained at lower levels the fourth quarter.

Despite seeing improved economic growth momentum in recent months, Taiwan’s CCI scores dropped three points to 72 in the fourth quarter, driven by declines in factors including personal financial prospects (34%, -1 percentage points) and willingness to spend (23%, -3 percentage points), while expectation on employment remained flat at 11.

“The slight decline in Taiwan’s CCI is mainly due to relatively reduced employment prospects and growing concern for economic headwinds impacting the consumer, such as elevated commodity prices,” said Desmond Wang, Managing Director, Nielsen Taiwan. “However, the fourth quarter also saw increased consumer spending as the period coincides with year-end retail shopping promotions and corporate celebrations.”

The economy remains the top concern for Taiwanese consumers (42%). Another notable finding in the fourth quarter survey is increasing food prices (20%) replaced job security (18%) as the second biggest concern after unemployment rates declined, followed by health (18%) and work life balance (15%). Gradual economic recovery is expected in 2017, which would prompt overall economic growth for Taiwan, potentially helping to contribute to a more positive consumer outlook in the following year.

How do Taiwanese consumers utilize their spare cash after essential living expenses are covered? Compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, more consumers said they were willing to spend money on holidays (32%, +4 percentage points) and stock and mutual fund investments (40%, +9 percentage points). Additionally, out-of-home entertainment declined 6-percentage points to 21%.

Established in 2005, the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index is fielded quarterly in 61 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 are charted above and below a baseline of 100, respectively indicating degrees of optimism and pessimism.

Notable report highlights include:
• Taiwan Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) slightly decreased to 72.
• Both personal finance and willingness to spend slightly increased compared to last year’s fourth quarter.
• Increasing food prices became the second biggest concern for consumers.
• Consumers were more willing to spend money on holiday travel and stock/mutual fund investment.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Oct. 31–Nov. 18, 2016, and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 63 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample includes internet users who agreed to participate in this survey and has quotas based on age and sex for each country. It is weighted to be representative of internet consumers by country. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. However, a probability sample of equivalent size would have a margin of error of ±0.6% at the global level. 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 survey methodology among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. The Company’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Nielsen Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit