Consumer Confidence Concerns and Spending Intentions around the World: Q2 2012

Consumer Confidence Concerns and Spending Intentions around the World: Q2 2012

Global consumer confidence declined three index points to 91 in Q2 2012 amid a worsening Euro zone crisis, lackluster U.S. job growth and China’s downward GDP revision for 2012, according to consumer confidence findings from Nielsen.

Additional insights from the report:

  • Discretionary spending and saving decreased globally across all sectors
  • More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents changed spending habits to save on expenses
  • Concern for the economy and job security remained top worries among global respondents
  • More than half (57%) of global respondents said they are in recession and half of those believe it will continue for another year
  • Indonesia reported the highest consumer confidence index in the survey

“Consumers are clearly proceeding with caution in relation to their spending intentions,” said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen. “Consumer confidence lost momentum in the second quarter as global events, including a worsening Euro zone crisis coupled with slowing growth rates in China and India, impacted financial markets and consumer sentiment in many parts of the world. As renewed volatility entered global markets, consumers reacted by reining in spending and consumption intentions.”

In the survey, conducted between May 4 and May 21, 2012, consumer confidence declined three points to 100 in Asia Pacific, four points to 88 in North America, and two points to 96 in Latin America. An increase of one point each in Middle East/Africa (98) and Europe (73) was reported. Overall, consumer confidence rose in 41 percent of global markets measured by Nielsen in Q2, compared to a 68 percent increase in the previous quarter. Confidence declined in 26 of 56 markets, increased in 23, and remained flat in seven.

Job optimism declined one point globally in Q2 to 47 percent. Latin American respondents reported the biggest drop of four points to 48 percent. A favorable job outlook also declined three points in Asia-Pacific (58%), two points in Middle East/Africa (46%) and three points in North America (36%). While Europe’s job outlook increased by two points, only 27 percent were optimistic about job prospects over the next 12 months.

Intended discretionary spending and saving decreased globally in Q2 across all sectors reviewed. The biggest spending intention declines were reported for new technology products, down five points to 23 percent; out-of-home entertainment, down four points to 28 percent; and holidays/vacations, down three points to 30 percent. Saving intentions also waned, dropping from 50 percent of global respondents who said they put spare cash into savings in Q1 to 47 percent in Q2.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted between May 4 and May 21, 2012 and polled more than 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America.


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Consumer Confidence Concerns and Spending Intentions around the World: Q2 2012

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