Confident consumer: An Indian customer in a mall in Kolkata
CONSUMER confidence is strongest in emerging Asia Pacific and Latin America, while most Europeans remain edgy on the pace of their economic recovery and the euro zone debt crisis, a global survey showed today.
Consumer sentiment was highest in India, followed by Indonesia and Norway, according to the survey conducted by the New York-based Nielsen Company in March.
Globally, the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index averaged a reading of 92 points in the first quarter, six points higher than in the third quarter of 2009 and the highest level since the third quarter of 2007.
All regions saw improvement in consumer confidence, but the gap in the pace of economic recovery widened between the booming Asia Pacific and Latin American countries compared to the sluggish recovery in the US and western Europe.
“Asia Pacific consumers who were among the first to cut back drastically on discretionary spending 18 months ago are now confident enough to spend their way out of recession,” said Venkatesh Bala, chief economist of Nielsen’s Cambridge Group.
In China, consumer confidence rebounded to 108 points from 101 six months ago, matching a record reached in the first quarter of 2005.
“Key economic indicators in China all point to a continued strong recovery in 2010,” said Chris Morley, a managing director of Nielsen.
“While perceptions of local job prospects and the state of personal finances are improving in 2010, spending intentions are less optimistic due to rapidly rising urban housing costs and a strong saving tradition,” Morley said.
The survey of more than 27,000 consumers in 55 countries, showed consumer confidence declined in seven of 28 European countries, with Greece reporting the largest fall.
“The Greek debt crisis has delivered a hard blow to Greek consumers and they’re increasingly pessimistic for the future - they have been dealt a double whammy,” Nielsen vice president James Russo said.
In North America, nearly 60 per cent of Canadians saw good or excellent job prospects over the next 12 months, compared with 23 per cent of Americans.
Top 10 markets where consumer confidence is highest(by index points):
Q1 2010 Q3 2009
1. India 127 120
2. Indonesia 116 115
3. Norway 115 110
4. Philippines 111 107
5. Australia 111 106
6. Saudi Arabia 108 79
7. Brazil 108 108
8. China 107 101
9. Singapore 107 96
10. United Arab Emirates 103 102
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