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UK consumer confidence hits highest level on record

Confidence levels into positive territory for first time in nearly 10 years
Positivity about purchasing at highest-ever level, cost-cutting activity at lowest level

LONDON – 3 November, 2015. UK consumer confidence has risen for the seventh successive quarter to its highest level on record – according to the latest figures from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights.

The UK Consumer Confidence Index was up four points, from 99 in Q2 2015 to 103 in Q3 2015 – the highest level since Nielsen’s Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was first conducted in Q1 2005.

Furthermore, it’s only the second time the UK Index has been above 100 – a score over 100 indicates degrees of optimism, below 100, degrees of pessimism. The only other time it was in positive territory was in Q1 2006 (101), when Tony Blair was in his third term as PM and the official interest rate was 4.5%.

The number of UK consumers positive about making purchases rose 5 points to 49% and positive about their personal finances rose 3 points to 56%  – the highest level for both since the questions first appeared in the survey, nine years ago (Q3, 2006).

Britons who say they’ve changed spending habits to save money dropped 5 points to 51% – the lowest level since the question first appeared, more than six years ago (Q1, 2009).

The proportion believing the UK is in a recession stood at 47% – the second lowest level since the question first appeared, more than seven years ago (Q1, 2008).

“Confidence moving into positive territory for the first time in nearly a decade is certainly a landmark moment,” says Nielsen UK & Ireland managing director Steve Smith.

“Overall, the UK economy is in better shape than most other European countries, as unemployment rates are down and wage inflation is rising faster than general inflation. Shoppers are also seeing the benefit of lower fuel and energy costs, and households are redirecting spending proportionately to non-food items such as phones, cars and holidays.

“Within food and grocery, the categories with the strongest volume growth continue to be the more ‘expandable’ categories of beverages, confectionery and snacks, which are typically driven by promotions and branded innovation.”

How the UK compares

The global Consumer Confidence Index stands at 99, while Europe’s is 81. Germany – Europe’s largest economy – is at 100. The UK is Europe’s second most confident county, behind Denmark (109). India (131) has the highest score globally, followed by the US (119).

The scores are derived from Nielsen’s study, established in 2005, which measures attitudes each quarter on topics including personal finances and job prospects among 30,000+ internet consumers in 61 countries.

To view historical trends for all countries, broken down by metrics such as financial concerns and job prospects, visit the interactive Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Trend Tracker.


Notes to Editors

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted 10 Aug – 4 Sept, 2015 and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 61 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 behaviour 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. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which 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 also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance.  Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit

More information

Alex Burmaster
Meteor Public Relations
Tel: 020 3544 3570
Mob: 0780 313 1144

Neil Beston
PR Director, UK & Europe
Tel: 020 3103 3959
Mob: 07770 644136