Backed by improving global consumer confidence, many regions are seeing improved conditions for businesses and the fast-moving consumer goods industry. Here, we’ll look at trends in a few select countries.
In contrast to the ongoing market challenges facing global fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers and retailers, consumers are in better spirits than they were at the end of 2016. In fact, global consumer confidence has risen three index points since the close of last year.
Global consumer confidence increased modestly in 2016, a time of great political and economic change around the world, rising three points between the first and fourth quarters to 101. Confidence scores finished the year more strongly than they began in every region except Africa/Middle East.
While the third quarter of 2016 saw considerable economic diversity across the markets measured by Nielsen’s Global Survey, consumer confidence in the U.S. remained on solid footing with a score of 106, despite a decline of seven points from the second quarter.
Third-quarter 2016 global consumer confidence remained stable at 99, up one point from the second quarter and unchanged from third-quarter 2015. Country-level scores, however, varied dramatically throughout the regions, reflecting considerable economic diversity around the world.
Global consumer confidence held steady in the second quarter of 2016 at 98, an index score that was flat from the first quarter and two points higher than a year earlier. North America was the only region to sustain growth momentum in the second quarter, demonstrating a three-point increase in confidence to 111.
Though global consumer confidence remained stable in the first quarter, there was notable variation on a country-by-country basis, and many markets noted a growing recessionary sentiment. In fact, six in 10 global respondents believed their nation’s economy was in recession in the first quarter.
Multinationals should not turn their backs on emerging market consumers. Some rebalancing toward developed markets makes sense in the near term as their relative strength improves, but it must not come entirely at the expense of investment in emerging markets.
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More than half (55%) of respondents around the world believed they were in recession in the fourth quarter of 2015, a modest increase from the start of that year (53%)—and a level that often exceeds official economic definitions.
Global consumer confidence ended 2015 on a subdued note as the index declined two points from the third quarter to 97. Compared to first-quarter 2015, confidence in the fourth quarter remained flat in Asia-Pacific at 107, while Europe edged up four points to 81. All other regions ended the year less confident than they started.
As connected commerce continues to gain momentum globally, it’s increasingly important that retailers make online shopping as simple as a routine trip to the store, even if they’re browsing from the other side of the globe—and offering the right method of payment is critical.
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U.S. consumer confidence jumped 18 index points in the third quarter of 2015 to a score of 119 after a six-point decline in the previous quarter. The score marked the biggest quarterly increase and the highest index for the country in Nielsen’s 10-year consumer confidence history.
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While consumer confidence declined in 10 of 14 Asia-Pacific markets, the region still leads all global regions with an index score of 107. Among the four markets that improved from the previous quarter, the Philippines showed the biggest quarterly country-level confidence increase of seven index points, rising to a score of 122—the country’s highest level on record.
The slowing pace of Chinese economic growth underscores the country’s need to transition from an investment- and export-led growth model to one powered by consumption. But how long will that transition take? The answer is crucial to companies looking to ride what will eventually be the next extraordinary surge in consumer spending in China.
The way we view the economy and what’s in our wallets can have a direct impact on our willingness to spend and save. As such, it’s no surprise that changes in consumer confidence can influence the actions consumers say they take to save on household expenses. And as global consumer confidence declined in Q2, saving strategies continued to permeate the mindset of consumers around the world.
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Any multinational looking for solid growth should be taking a hard look at India. In 2015, India’s economy will grow faster than China’s for the first time in 16 years. In fact, the IMF forecasts India’s GDP growth to expand by 7.5% this year and next.
While global sentiment about personal finances and the costs of living has been trending up for about two years now, men and women aren’t exactly on the same page when it comes to what’s in their pockets. Generally speaking, women see a bright side, but men are seeing an even brighter side.
Increasing personal wealth is gradually changing the way Indians handle their money. They are steadily increasing their appetite for saving and investing. Mutual funds have never been on the Indian investor's radar but that too is changing thanks to efforts to step up financial literacy. However, there is a long way to go since only 9% of urban Indians today invest in mutual funds. Find out what is keeping the Indian investor away from mutual funds and identify what are the opportunity areas.
The Reserve Bank of India’s recent move to allow retailers and telecom companies to set up Payment Banks is definitely a step in the right direction. Considering nearly 65% of India’s population is unbanked, the opportunity is significant.
Consumer confidence in India increased seven index points to 128 in the second quarter, bumping the country up to the top spot among the 60 countries measured in Nielsen’s Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions. The latest increase surpasses Indonesia (123), which previously held the top spot for five consecutive quarters.
A significant increase in lifestyle diseases and cost concerns surrounding health care is attracting a large number of consumers to consider health insurance policies. Moreover, the slowing economic growth of the country has prompted many to look for policies that cushion them against financial hardships.
Loans are increasingly turning out to be the bridges that link consumers with the products of their choice. Given the easy availability of finance, nothing seems out of reach for urban consumers today. But like in any other product, several influences are at play before the consumer chooses a loan.