U.S. Consumer Confidence Remains Buoyant Despite Second-Quarter Setback

U.S. Consumer Confidence Remains Buoyant Despite Second-Quarter Setback

U.S. consumer confidence decreased six index points in Nielsen’s second-quarter Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions to a score of 101, but remained at an above-the-baseline optimistic level. Consumer confidence in Canada increased two points to 98 after declining six points in the first quarter. Despite these declines, confidence in both markets remained above the global average of 96.

In the U.S., the all three confidence indicators decreased in the second quarter, with immediate spending intentions declining the most at six percentage points to 44%. Job prospects sentiment dropped five percentage points to 50% and personal finance sentiment declined one percentage point to 61% from the first quarter.

“Confidence in the U.S. remains at elevated levels, but it’s an uneven recovery, as more than half of Americans still feel the effects of the recession, and nearly 40% are living paycheck to paycheck,” said James Russo, SVP, Nielsen Global Consumer Insights. “While fast-moving consumer goods dollar sales were up 2.6% through May 2015, driven by inflation and perimeter store growth for health care and personal care products, we expect the five-year unit sales trend to be flat.”

In Canada, immediate spending intentions increased four percentage points in the second quarter to 41%, nearly reversing the six-point decline in the first quarter. Job prospect sentiment also increased, rising one percentage point to 45% of those surveyed being confident in Canadian employment opportunities in the coming year. Meanwhile, personal finance sentiment declined one percentage point to 54%, the third consecutive quarter of declines.

The report also details:

  • Recessionary sentiment improved in 31 of 60 measured markets from the first quarter
  • European consumer confidence increased two points to an index score of 97
  • 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
  • Confidence in Asia-Pacific remained the highest of all regions at an index score of 107

For more global 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. If you would like more detailed country-level data, it is available for sale in the new Consumer Insights section of the Nielsen Store.

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.