European Confidence Rises in Q2; Other Regions Decline or Stay Flat

European Confidence Rises in Q2; Other Regions Decline or Stay Flat

Global consumer confidence declined one index point in the second quarter to a score of 96, matching the index score at the close of 2014, as overall sentiment about job prospects and personal finances dropped two and one percentage point(s), respectively, from the first quarter. This near-baseline score, which has stayed relatively consistent for more than a year, reflects an overall stable outlook, but uneven performance at the country level increased within regions—especially in Latin America and the Middle East.

Regionally, confidence continued to rise in Europe, increasing two points to 79—its highest score since 2010, as 65% of markets showed improvement from the first quarter. In Asia-Pacific, confidence held steady at 107, and it declined five points in North America (101), two points in the Middle East/Africa (94) and three points in Latin America (83).

Among the world’s largest economies, confidence remained at near- and above-the-baseline levels in Germany (97) and the U.S. (101) despite quarterly index declines of three and six points, respectively. In China (107) and the U.K. (99), consumer confidence increased one and two points, respectively, and it increased one point in Japan (83) from the first quarter.

“Contrasts within and across markets continue to be a dominant feature of the global economy,” said Louise Keely, senior vice president, Nielsen, and president, The Demand Institute. “Consumer confidence in Eurozone markets has been relatively stable, with the notable exception of Greece. While quantitative easing is largely viewed as doing as intended, Europe is now moving through the Greek debt crisis. A relatively strong starting point for confidence will support consumer spending as the crisis unfolds. In China, slowing GDP growth sits alongside a stock market that has been soaring. Confidence has not faltered there either, which bodes well for consumer spending in the near term. Meanwhile, Brazil, with its unusual combination of recession and inflation, saw consumer confidence decline to a record low level this quarter. We expect the situation there to continue to affect spending behavior.”

In the latest online survey, conducted May 11-29, 2015, consumer confidence increased in 27 of 60 markets measured by Nielsen (45%). India’s score of 131 was the highest level among 60 markets, followed by the Philippines (122), Indonesia (120) and Denmark (112). The Philippines showed the biggest quarterly improvement, as confidence there rose seven points, and Greece showed the biggest quarterly decline of 12 points from the first quarter. South Korea reported the lowest score of 45.

Other findings include:

  • Recessionary sentiment improved in 78% of European markets, while confidence in Greece droped 12 index points to a score of 53.
  • North American confidence remained optimistic at an index score of 101.
  • Worries about the economy, job security and health issues are top global concerns.
  • Confidence in Latin America continued to decline to the lowest level since 2009.
  • A closer look at country-level insights within global regions.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q2 2015 Global Consumer Confidence Report.

For a historical look at global consumer confidence by region, country and time period, explore the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Trend Tracker.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted May 11-29, 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.