Consumer confidence: slow, steady progress continues

Consumer confidence: slow, steady progress continues

Consumer confidence - graphNew Zealand consumer confidence edged up three index points in the third quarter to a score of 102. The increase of three points from the previous quarter and five points from a year ago (Q3 2013) shows slow and steady progress for the country. The index – which reached its lowest score of 89 in Q2 2009 – is currently 13 points shy of New Zealand’s pre-recession level (115).

The year-on-year increase was driven by the belief of the majority of Kiwis (56%) that the job market would be good or excellent over the next year, an 11 percentage-point increase from Q3 2013. Over the same time period, there were also improvements in respondents rating their personal finances for the upcoming year as good or excellent (up four percentage-points to 61%) and whether it would be a good time to buy things over the next 12 months (up three percentage-points to 42%).

ASB Bank Chief Economist, Nick Tuffley, said: “Confidence proved to be very resilient over Q3. A lift in sentiment is an impressive outcome against a backdrop of caution over weaker dairy incomes and an election looming just after the survey period. One notable part of the survey was the expected improvement in financial circumstances for the next year. Survey respondents may have been picking up on the strength of employment and prospects for slightly faster wage growth. And for those with mortgages, the signals from the Reserve Bank that interest rates will be on hold for some time may have contributed to a more positive view on their financial circumstances. With that improved perception of financial circumstances has come less of a desire by respondents to put any spare cash towards added savings or debt repayment.”

In the latest online survey (conducted Aug. 13 – Sept. 5, 2014) global consumer confidence reached a score of 98. It increased in 65% of the markets measured by Nielsen, compared to 52% in the second quarter. Among the world’s biggest economies, consumer confidence increased four points in the U.S. (108), one point in Germany (97), three points in the U.K. (93) and four points in Japan (77), from the second quarter. Meanwhile, consumer confidence in China held steady at 111 for the fourth consecutive quarter.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions. 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.

About the global survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 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 its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behaviour of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.

About Nielsen

Nielsen 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 and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

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