As 2018 starts to wind down, economic and consumer spending trends for a majority of markets around the world are in better standing than they were earlier in the year.
Here's a look at some of the major shifts we're tracking to help our clients stay in prime position to capitalize on the opportunities they'll present in the coming years.
From a global perspective, prospects for the remainder of the year appear largely positive. In Q1, confidence grew across Western Europe, the economic recovery in Latin America looks promising in a number of markets, dollar sales of FMCG in North America performed well, and growing disposable incomes across Asia-Pacific are having an effect well beyond the immediate region.
2017 was a good year for global consumers, with consumer confidence ending the year at a near-record level. Notably, 51 markets finished the year with higher confidence than they did in 2016, and the gains were bigger than 2 points in 46 markets.
Backed by improving global consumer confidence, many regions are seeing improved conditions for businesses and the fast-moving consumer goods industry. Here, we'll look at trends in a few select countries.
Consumers globally were more confident in the second quarter of 2017 than at the end of 2016, but concerns remain. So where are consumers spending any extra cash and cutting back on expenses?
In contrast to the ongoing market challenges facing global fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers and retailers, consumers are in better spirits than they were at the end of 2016. In fact, global consumer confidence has risen three index points since the close of last year.
Global consumer confidence increased modestly in 2016, a time of great political and economic change around the world, rising three points between the first and fourth quarters to 101. Confidence scores finished the year more strongly than they began in every region except Africa/Middle East.
While the third quarter of 2016 saw considerable economic diversity across the markets measured by Nielsen's Global Survey, consumer confidence in the U.S. remained on solid footing with a score of 106, despite a decline of seven points from the second quarter.
Third-quarter 2016 global consumer confidence remained stable at 99, up one point from the second quarter and unchanged from third-quarter 2015. Country-level scores, however, varied dramatically throughout the regions, reflecting considerable economic diversity around the world.
While paying bills, checking account balances and transferring funds from a mobile device may be convenient and easy, security is an ever-increasing consideration—and a critical barrier to success.
Though mobile shopping habits are on the rise, there's certainly a method to the madness, as global consumers are also using digital tools to monitor their spending and manage their finances.
Notching a one-point increase from the first quarter, European consumer confidence was largely stable in the second quarter of 2016, at 79. Notably, consumer confidence improved from the first quarter in 22 of the 34 measured markets in the European region.
Though global consumer confidence remained flat in the second quarter of 2016, confidence in the U.S. maintained positive momentum, increasing three points to 113 from the previous quarter. In fact, confidence has been at or above the optimism baseline of 100 for more than two years.
Global consumer confidence held steady in the second quarter of 2016 at 98, an index score that was flat from the first quarter and two points higher than a year earlier. North America was the only region to sustain growth momentum in the second quarter, demonstrating a three-point increase in confidence to 111.
As the world collaborates on the United Nation's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, good data are critical to the world's ability to set goals, generate plans and measure our collective progress.