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Norwegian Consumers Most Confident in Europe, Rest of Scandinavia Mixed
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Norwegian Consumers Most Confident in Europe, Rest of Scandinavia Mixed

Nordic consumers have more confidence in the economy and their personal finances than the rest of Europe and are increasingly ready to spend, according to the latest edition of the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey.  But within Scandinavia, there are some variations.  Norway and Sweden posted double digit increase in confidence (up 10 and 11 points, respectively) while Finland’s score was up two.  Meanwhile, confidence in Denmark declined two points in the third quarter, although it still recorded the second highest score in Europe.

Norwegians posted the highest levels of confidence on the continent.  Almost two-thirds (64%) said that they thought their country was not in a recession, compared to 85 percent of European who thought their country was in recession (globally, the average was 64% thinking they were in recession).  The same percentage of Norwegians also believed that their job prospects were “good” or “excellent” in the coming year, compared to just 30 percent saying the same in April 2009.

More than half (51%) of Nordic consumers said that it is a “good” or “excellent” time to buy the things they want and need, compared to just 31 percent of Europeans and 37 percent globally.  Swedes and Danes have a fairly poor outlook on job prospects, while Finns are quite negative: 83 percent believe prospects for the next 12 months were “not so good” or “bad.”

As for consumers’ biggest concerns, children’s education and welfare was the key concern for Danes, while Finns and Swedes were most worried about the economy.  Perhaps a sign of the optimism found there, Norwegians said their health was their biggest concern over the next six months. Despite that optimism, almost half (47%) of Norwegians and Swedes said that they would put their spare Kroner into savings, while 41 percent of Danes would do the same.  Finns, on the other hand, said they would spend their spare Euros on holidays.

Read the full report.