Global consumer confidence rose two points in the first quarter of this year to an index of 92 driven by record confidence gains in the Middle East/Africa following social and political unrest in the region and strong-performing Asia Pacific economies, according to the latest data from The Nielsen Company. Asia Pacific’s* consumer confidence index jumped 10 points from last quarter to reach 107 – its highest score on record and Middle East/Africa surged 17 points to a new high of 106. Consumer confidence levels above or below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism or pessimism.
“Global recovery, despite its slow pace, is heading in the right direction,” said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, Chief Economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of The Nielsen Company. “Still, more than half (55%) of global online consumers say they are currently in a recession, and of those, 51 percent expect to be in a recession for at least another year.”
Key Takeaways From the Q1 Report
- Asia Pacific and Middle East/Africa regions reach highest confidence levels on record
- North America rises two index points
- Southern and Easter European countries dip to new lows
- Increasing food prices trump the economy as the biggest global concern
- Rising fuel/utility prices impact spending intentions
- Regional differences prevail, with 37 percent of Asia Pacific consumers saying they are in a recession today compared with 82 percent of North Americans and 68 percent of Europeans
The Nielsen Global Online Consumer Confidence Survey tracks consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 28,000 Internet consumers in 51 countries. In the latest round of the survey, conducted between March 23 and April 12, 2011, the number of global online consumers saying they are in a recession has receded across all regions.
Download the full Q1 Global Consumer Confidence Report