Global consumer confidence edged up one index point in the third quarter to a score of 98—up from 97 in the previous quarter and up two points from the start of the year. The index, which has been on a slow and steady rise since the first quarter of 2012, has now exceeded a pre-recession level of 94 for three consecutive quarters. The latest results reflect an outlook of cautious optimism, as each regional consumer confidence score improved from the previous quarter.
The Nielsen consumer confidence index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.
Regionally, consumer confidence in the North America region improved the most, rising four points to 107—a score that matches Asia-Pacific’s score for the first time in Nielsen’s Consumer Confidence history (since 2005). Asia-Pacific’s score represented a quarterly increase of one point. Confidence also increased three points in the Middle East/Africa (96), one point in Latin America (91) and one point in Europe (78) from the previous quarter.
"Outside of North America, a range of region- and country-specific factors are translating into weaker and more uneven improvements in consumer confidence,” said Louise Keely, senior vice president, Nielsen, and president, The Demand Institute. “Europe is being directly affected by the geopolitical crisis in Ukraine and is also at a critical policy juncture concerning steps to prevent deflation and improve growth. Among major emerging economies, while India is displaying renewed potential for accelerating growth from its new government, China is moving in a different direction as it re-orients its economy toward greater domestic consumption."
Among the world’s biggest economies, consumer confidence saw a four-point jump in the U.S. (to 108), and increases of one point in Germany (97), three points in the U.K. (93) and four points in Japan (77) from the second quarter. Meanwhile, consumer confidence in China held steady at 111 for the fourth consecutive quarter.
In the latest online survey, conducted Aug. 13-Sept. 5, 2014, consumer confidence increased in 39 of 60 markets measured by Nielsen (65%), compared with 31 markets (52%) in the second quarter. View nine years of historical consumer confidence data with Nielsen’s Global Consumer Confidence Trend Tracker. The tool allows you to explore data, compare markets and see trends with just a click.
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For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions.
The findings in this survey are based on respondents with online access across 60 countries. While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations. In developing markets where online penetration has not reached majority potential, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. Additionally, survey responses are based on claimed behavior, rather than actual metered data.