Global consumer confidence continues climb

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Global consumer confidence continues climb

By Store Brands - 11/03/2014

Global consumer confidence edged up one index point in the third quarter of 2014 to a score of 98 — an increase of two points from the start of the year. The index, which has been on a slow-but-steady rise for two-and-a-half years (since quarter one 2012) has now exceeded a prerecession level of 94 for three consecutive quarter, according to the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions.

In the latest online survey from New York-based Nielsen, conducted Aug. 13 through Sept. 5, consumer confidence increased in 65 percent of the markets measured by Nielsen, compared to 52 percent in quarter two, Nielsen noted. In the United States, consumer confidence increased four points to 108.

Of the markets examined, consumer confidence in the North America region improved most, rising four points to 107 — a score that matches Asia-Pacific’s index for the first time in Nielsen’s Consumer Confidence history (since 2005).

More specifically, U.S. consumer confidence increased four index points for the second consecutive quarter to a score of 108 in the third quarter, Nielsen said. The rise continued an upward trend that started in first-quarter 2013, and confidence in the United States has registered a 15-point increase since then. Confidence also increased in Canada, rising one point to 103 in the third quarter.

On the job market front, just more than half of global respondents (52 percent) believed the market would be good or excellent in the next 12 months, a 2 percent increase from the second quarter, Nielsen explained. This modest increase follows steady but small upticks reported during the past five years since 2009, when employment sentiment dropped to an average annual low of 31 percent during that year.

While perceptions of personal finances have become more positive since 2009, consumers’ overall sentiment about personal finances has not improved as significantly as their sentiment about their employment opportunities. Fifty-seven percent of global respondents rated their personal finances as good or excellent for the upcoming year, compared to the average annual low reported in 2009 of 46 percent — an 11 percent increase. In contrast, the sentiment for job prospects increased 21 percent during the same time period.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively. The latest results reflect an outlook of cautious optimism, as every region’s consumer confidence score improved compared to the previous quarter.

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