Global declines in consumer activity appear to be moderating or hitting bottom, according to the new edition of the Nielsen Economic Current, which is based on the company’s key consumer trend data as well economic data to create a concise indicator of consumer behavior. Out of the 11 major GDP countries, only Germany showed an increase in consumer behavior in February.
“Consumers worldwide appear to be in a holding pattern and we see evidence that consumer spending might be positioned to turn around,” said James Russo, Vice President Global Consumer Insights at Nielsen. “There is no doubt that conditions remain tough for global consumers, with continuing widespread areas of weakness, but levels of decline seem to be moderating.”
The Economic Current ranks national economic performance on a scale of one to five, with one representing very strong growth (over 5%). India and China continue to be the only countries that scored a one in February, while Canada and Russia scored twos (growth between 1% and 4%). The U.S. continues to score a four.
Watch James Russo discuss saving rates and additional findings of the Nielsen Economic Current.
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Additional findings include:
- Consumers in most countries are spending more per shopping trip, but cutting back on discretionary spending, such as entertainment outside of the home, buying new clothes and switching to cheaper grocery brands.
- There are noticeable shifts to value channels such as discount stores that provide high-volume, low-profit offers, even in Brazil, Russia, India and China.
- Consumers are purchasing more store brands, especially in Spain, Germany and Canada.
“There are a lot of similarities among consumer spending globally. No matter the border, consumers are reigning in their spending. In this volatile market, retailers and manufacturers need to know how to maximize their public exposure and understand the needs of consumers at a granular level to survive,” said Jonathan Banks, Business Insight Director for Nielsen in Europe.
Download the latest Economic Current.
Download the full press release.