Consumer Confidence in Brazil and the Latin America Region Hit Lowest Scores Since 2009

Consumer Confidence in Brazil and the Latin America Region Hit Lowest Scores Since 2009

Consumer confidence in the Latin America region has been on a slow decline for about two years now, dropping two additional index points in the latest first quarter results from Nielsen’s Global Consumer Confidence Survey. The regional index of 86 is the lowest score since 2009.

Confidence in Brazil, the region’s biggest economy, fell for the second consecutive quarter, dropping seven points to the country’s lowest level since 2009. Sentiment about future job prospects also reached a new low, declining 10 percentage points to 27%, and sentiment about personal finances decreased six percentage points to 60%, the second-lowest level in 10 years. Similarly, the number of Brazilians who believed they were in recession increased to 85% from 73% the previous quarter and from 55% a year ago.

“In Brazil, the results reflect the uncertainty over the country’s ability to increase growth rates in the short term, return to more moderate inflation levels and avoid further unemployment increases,” said Luis Arjona, country manager, Nielsen Brazil. “Concerned with the overall economic environment, Brazilian consumers have become more conservative with their disposable income, reducing out-of-home spending, while buying more on planned trips at grocery stores. They are also increasing the share of grocery spend at discount stores and reducing spend on impulse categories.”

Of seven Latin American markets measured, Chile (87) and Argentina (75) showed the only consumer confidence gains, rising six and eight points, respectively, while confidence in Venezuela (65) fell five points, and Peru’s score (99), dropped two points in the first quarter. Confidence in Colombia held steady at 94 from fourth-quarter 2014.

Regionally, sentiment about the outlook for job prospects for the next 12 months declined four percentage points to 27%, and sentiment about personal finances fell two percentage points to 56%, while immediate spending intentions increased one percentage point to 36%. Recessionary sentiment grew in the region, rising from 73% at the end of last year to 78% in the first quarter—the highest of all the regions measured in Nielsen’s survey.

Other findings include:

  • European consumer confidence makes significant strides in key markets.
  • Nine of 14 countries in Asia-Pacific start the year at or above a baseline reading of 100.
  • Concerns about the economy and job security decreased while health and work/life balance concerns increased.
  • Global consumers opt to save extra cash on hand, pull back on discretionary spending.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q1 2015 Global Consumer Confidence Report.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Feb. 23-March 13, 2015, and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 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 its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.