Global Consumer Confidence Increases One Point to 92 in Q3 2012
Sixty-Two Percent of Global Respondents Say They Are in a Recession;
Sixty-Nine Percent Are Changing Spending Habits to Save More
NEW YORK -- October 30, 2012
Global consumer confidence increased one index point to 92 in Q3 2012, and is
up four index points from the same period the previous year (Q3 2011),
according to global consumer confidence findings from Nielsen, a leading
global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.
In the latest round of the survey, conducted between August 10 and September
7, 2012, overall confidence rose in 52 percent of global markets^1 measured by
Nielsen, compared to a 41 percent increase in the previous quarter. Consumer
confidence in Q3 2012 increased in 30 of 58 markets, declined in 19 and
remained flat in seven.
“The subdued third quarter results reflect an overall trend that is neither
positive nor negative as consumers are treading water very carefully,” said
Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen.
“Consumers played it safe in Q3, especially in Europe, which still faces a
very precarious economic situation despite some recent stabilizing policy
initiatives by the European Central Bank. Export growth from China, especially
to the Euro zone, has slowed substantially accompanied by restraint among
consumers there. Consumers in the U.S., while less directly impacted by
Europe, continue to be cautious in the face of an uneven recovery, marked by
still-elevated unemployment levels and disappointing payroll growth.”
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions,
established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns and spending
intentions among more than 29,000 Internet consumers in 58 countries. Consumer
confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of
optimism and pessimism.
Recessionary Sentiment Grew
According to Nielsen’s survey, 62 percent of global respondents said they were
in a recession—an increase from 57 percent the previous quarter and consistent
with Q3 2011 results. Of those that said they were in a recession, half (49%)
believed the recession would continue for another year.
More respondents in Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific believed their
region had fallen back into a recession compared to last year and last
quarter. The number of Europeans who believed they were in a recession rose
from 71 percent in Q2 to 75 percent in Q3. Recessionary sentiment also
increased seven percentage points in Asia-Pacific to 52 percent and four
percentage points in Latin America to 53 percent. The Middle East/Africa
region reported the only recessionary mindset decline, decreasing five
percentage points in Q3 to 72 percent.
"Europe is and will remain the epicenter of global growth concerns over the
next several quarters, with the major European economies currently in or at
the brink of recession,” said Dr. Bala. “In the U.S., the major risk to the
ongoing recovery is the so-called "fiscal cliff" beginning January 2013, when
the expiration of tax cuts along with automatic reductions in government
spending could precipitate a second recession unless U.S. lawmakers act in the
interim. China remains a relative bright spot despite slowing growth there,
with the possibility that rising demand from domestic sources could eventually
help counteract slowing exports. We expect considerable uncertainty as these
trends start to come into focus for the balance of this year."
Global Consumers Continued to Cut Back
Seven in 10 global online respondents (69%) changed their spending habits to
save on household expenses, an increase of two percentage points from last
quarter and three percentage points from a year ago. Half of global
respondents (52%) said they spent less on new clothes and cut back on
out-of-home entertainment expenses (48%). Other actions taken by global
respondents include saving on gas and electricity (47%), switching to cheaper
grocery brands (39%) and cutting down on telephone expenses (33%).
“The ongoing Euro zone crisis continued to create global headwinds that
impacted all regions, but especially Asia’s critical export market,” said Dr.
Bala. “As key global economic indicators deteriorated last quarter, consumers
remained uncertain and reticent to spend.”
Nielsen’s survey shows that North America and Europe reported the only
quarterly consumer confidence increases, rising three index points to 91 and
one point to 74, respectively. Asia-Pacific (100) and Middle East/Africa (98)
regions remained flat in Q3 and Latin America decreased two index points to
India (119) and Indonesia (119) reported the highest index scores in Q3 while
China’s index score increased 0.6 to 106 and the U.S. increased three points
The biggest quarterly consumer confidence gains in Q3 were reported in
Switzerland (+10), Belgium (+9), Australia (+8), Thailand (+8), Hungary (+7),
Norway (+7), United Arab Emirates (+6), Italy (+5) and Canada (+5).
The biggest quarterly consumer confidence declines in Q3 were reported in Hong
Kong (-15), Argentina (-11), South Korea (-10), Vietnam (-8), Colombia (-8),
Israel (-7), Venezuela, (-7), Malaysia (-6) and Finland (-5).
About the Nielsen Global Survey
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was
conducted August 10 – September 7, 2012 and polled more than 29,000 online
consumers in 58 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 their Internet users, and is weighted to be
representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of
±0.6%.This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online
access only.Internet penetration rates vary by country.Nielsen uses a
minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online
population for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is
compiled from a separate mixed
methodology survey conducted among 3,500 respondents in China. The Nielsen
Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was
established in 2005.
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement
company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information,
television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile
measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in
approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen,
the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
^1 Two new markets, Bulgaria and Slovakia, were added to Nielsen’s Q3 Global
Jennifer Frighetto, 847-605-5686
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