Global consumer confidence holds steady in the second quarter of 2016 at 98, an index score that is flat from the first quarter. Moreover, North America is the only region to sustain the growth momentum in the second quarter with a three-point confidence increased to 111. Taiwan consumer confidence, in contrast, declines 3 points to 73 in the second quarter of 2016.
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. To be more specific, the consumer confidence refers to levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicating degrees of optimism and pessimism respectively.
Taiwanese consumer confidence has taken a three-point confidence drop in the second quarter, driven by the declines in all factors, including job prospects (13%, -3 percentage points), personal financial prospects (32%, -2 percentage points) and spending willingness (20%, -5 percentage points). Over one in ten (92%) Taiwanese respondents suggest that Taiwan is in an economic recession at the moment, and more than half of them (57%) do not believe that this country would be out of this recession in the next 12 months. Thus, economy remains the top one concern (42%) for Taiwanese consumers, followed by job security (22%, +2pp), health (19%, -2pp), work/life balance (17%), and political stability (16%, +5pp).
How do Taiwanese consumers utilize their spare cash after all essential living expenses are covered, since they are more conservative? Saving (65%, +2pp) is still the first choice, followed by investing in shares of stocks/mutual funds (34%, -1pp). Meanwhile, retirement fund (30%, 2pp) surpasses holidays/vacations (29%), and has become the 3rd preference of Taiwanese respondents’ spare cash utilizing list. Over two-third (68%) Taiwanese respondents have changed spending to save on household expenses, compared to this time last year.
● 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.
“Global economic growth continues to be sluggish, with wide variation in growth rates,” said Louise Keely, senior vice president, Nielsen and president, The Demand Institute. “Economic concerns such as weak commodity prices and job prospects, and political concerns, such as terrorism and political stability, have been higher among consumers in countries directly affected by situations such as terrorist attacks or soft commodity demand. Still, in many markets, consumer spending continues to be a bright spot. Consumer confidence has remained stable on average over the past several quarters.”
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 behavior, 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.
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 www.nielsen.com.