Nielsen: Q1 2013 Consumer Confidence Increases in Key Economies around the World

  Nielsen: Q1 2013 Consumer Confidence Increases in Key Economies around the
  World

    Global Consumer Confidence Measures at 93, Up Two Points from Q4 2012;
    60 Percent of Total Markets Surveyed Report Higher Confidence Levels,
                    Up from 33 Percent in Previous Quarter

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- May 1, 2013

Global consumer confidence indexed at 93 in the first quarter of 2013, as key
economies in North America, Asia, and northern and central Europe reported
improvements in economic sentiments, according to consumer confidence findings
from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what
consumers watch and buy. The measure of 93 is one point lower than the index
in Q1 2012 (94) and two points higher than it measured in Q4 2012 (91).

“Economic perceptions signaled positive momentum as global job prospects,
personal finances, and spending intentions cautiously edged up in Q1 2013,”
said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of
Nielsen. “Encouraged by positive signs in the U.S. economy and moderately
steady performance in China, consumer confidence in developed Asian economies
rebounded strongly last quarter, as Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan
posted double-digit confidence increases.”

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 respondents with Internet access in
58 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100
indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism. In the latest round of the survey,
conducted February 18–March 8, 2013, consumer confidence rose in 60 percent of
global markets measured by Nielsen, compared to a 33 percent increase reported
in Q4 2012.

Consumer confidence increased in several key economies, including the U.S.
(93), which increased four points over the previous quarter and one point
since Q1 2012; Germany (91), up four points since the last quarter and one
point over the previous year; and Japan (73), up 14 points since Q4 2012 and
15 points since the same quarter last year. China held steady from Q4 2012 at
108 (-2 from Q1 2012).

Global Consumers Resilient Despite Continuing Recessionary Mindset

While global economic sentiment showed improvement in Q1 2013, Nielsen’s index
indicated that many global respondents believed a full economic recovery was
not in sight, as nearly half (49%) said they believed that the recession would
last for at least another year. More than half of global respondents (56%)
said they were in a recession in Q1, an improvement from 59 percent the
previous quarter and 62 percent from six months ago.

Nevertheless, on average, across all countries in the survey, every confidence
indicator increased in Q1 2013, compared with the previous quarter.
Forty-seven percent of global respondents were optimistic about job prospects
over the next 12 months, an increase of two percentage points from Q4 2012, 54
percent were confident in their personal finances (+1), and 36 percent were
ready to spend (+2).

Highlights From Around the World

North America (94) reported the biggest quarter-on-quarter regional consumer
confidence rise of four points in Q1, followed by Asia Pacific (103), which
increased two index points. Consumer confidence declines were reported in the
Middle East/Africa region (85), which decreased 11 index points since Q4 2012
and in Latin America (94), which declined two index points from the previous
quarter. Europe’s regional consumer confidence index of 71 held steady from Q4
2012. At the end of last year, consumer confidence fell in 20 of 29 European
markets. In Q1, the opposite trend was reported, as consumer confidence rose
in 20 of 29 markets.

“We suspect that fears of the European debt crisis spreading beyond
recession-stricken southern European countries may have eased in the first
quarter,” said Dr. Bala. “However, weak labor market conditions in troubled
economies, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, and the
recent Cyprus financial crisis are further indications of the fragile state of
the European economy, which continue to hinder a full recovery in the region.”

North America led the global regions for spending intentions over the next 12
months. Forty-two percent of North American respondents said they plan to
spend on discretionary items during the year—a six-point increase from Q4
2012. Respondents in the region reported marginal increases in discretionary
spending intentions for the home, vacations, and entertainment expenses.

"Buoyed by a nascent revival of the U.S. housing market and strengthening
employment conditions, Americans demonstrated an eagerness to spend again,”
said Dr. Bala. “However, higher payroll taxes and the effect of government
budget cuts coupled with volatility in job hiring and sluggish personal
disposable income continue to impact U.S. households, which will make
continued growth an ongoing challenge.”

Hong Kong reported the biggest index increase since Q1 2012, gaining 23 points
to 108; Egypt saw the biggest decline, decreasing 20 points to 74. Indonesia
reported the highest consumer confidence index at 122, a five-point increase
from Q4 2012. Portugal reported the lowest index at 31.

Double-digit consumer confidence declines were reported in Egypt (-20) and
Saudi Arabia (-17), compared to Q4 2012. Pakistan declined six index points to
a score of 88, and United Arab Emirates dropped five index points to 108,
which was the highest index reported in the region.

Consumer confidence in South Africa increased three index points to 79, and
Israel rose one point to a score of 91.

Consumer confidence in Latin America decreased two percentage points from Q4
2012 with an index of 94, reflecting double-digit confidence declines in
Colombia (-14) and Venezuela (-12).

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was
conducted between February 18–March 8, 2013, 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, 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 among 3,500 respondents in
China. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer
Confidence Index, was established in 2005.

About Nielsen

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.

Contact:

Nielsen
Jennifer Frighetto, 847-605-5686
jennifer.frighetto@nielsen.com
or
Elizabeth Wolf, 646-654-5825
elizabeth.wolf@nielsen.com
 
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