The Recessionary Sentiment Brightened Around the World in Q2

The Recessionary Sentiment Brightened Around the World in Q2

More than half (55%) of global respondents to a Nielsen online survey believed they were in a recession in the second quarter—the lowest level reported since Q1 2011. The recessionary mindset among North Americans strengthened the most during the three-month period, declining six percentage points to 69 percent. The increase is noteworthy because this metric hasn’t dipped below 70 percent since before the Great Recession.

“The improved recessionary sentiment among North Americans was driven by positive macro-economic developments in the U.S.,” said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen. Seventy-two percent of U.S. respondents said they were in a recession—a 5-percentage point improvement from Q1 and a 15-percentage point change from a five-year average (2008–2012), when 87 percent of Americans felt mired in a recession. Concern about the U.S. economy also reported a marked decline of 8 percentage points among American respondents in the second quarter, dropping to 19 percent.

Recessionary sentiment also improved in Middle East/Africa (down 4 percentage points to 73%), Europe (down 2 percentage points to 74%) and Asia-Pacific (down 1 percentage point to 40%). Recessionary sentiment grew in Latin America, increasing 3 percentage points since Q1 to 56 percent.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 29,000 respondents with Internet access in 58 countries.


Other findings include:

  • Global consumer confidence increased one index point to 94 in Q2.
  • Quarterly confidence rose in all regions except Latin America.
  • European respondents remained stuck in a spending holding pattern.
  • Confidence in Middle East/Africa returned to its Q4 2012 level.
  • Discretionary spending intentions improved in Asia-Pacific.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q2 2013 Global Consumer Confidence Report.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted between May 13–31, 2013, and polled more than 29,000 online consumers in 58 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China.