Consumers in 10 of the world's top economies continued to be wary of spending their money in May, according to the latest edition of the Nielsen Economic Current, which provides a snapshot of global consumer and retail trends across 10 countries which represent nearly 65 percent of global GDP. Tracking key performance indicators, Brazil and the U.K. led the pack with solid improvements in their scores, while the U.S. and Canada showed declines. The rest of the countries tracked (China, France, Germany, India, Italy and Spain) showed no movement from the previous month. In all countries measured, consumers are saving more of their money - even Americans, who have had a low savings rate, are holding onto their cash as concerns about unemployment and financial security continue.
For the latest Economic Current, Nielsen tracked online discussions about the economy and found that since mid-March 2009, recession buzz has dropped 47 percent in the U.S., UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
"Globally, Nielsen is tracking online discussions related to the recession and when the recovery may emerge. While discussions about the recovery are still quite low, we have seen that the public is talking less about the recession -- often dramatically less," said James Russo, Vice President, Global Consumer Insights for The Nielsen Company.
"In the U.S., we found that recession discussions have dropped since hitting a peak in January. There appears to be a strong correlation between what consumers are saying in discussion groups and their subsequent actual purchase behavior. From the end of 2008 to March 2009, when recession discussions were highest, we found that sales actually declined by 2.3 percent. From mid-March to early June, as recession chats dropped, we found that sales actually showed a modest increase," continued Russo. "This is an important dynamic as we look to signs of a sustained recovery, and Nielsen will be at the forefront of this research."
Download the latest Nielsen Economic Current.