The Conference Board Launches Global Consumer Confidence Index
The softening in consumer confidence in many mature markets was offset by strengthening in many emerging markets. Half of the 36 mature economies in the survey had an increase in confidence; 15 of 28 emerging markets also saw an increase in confidence.
“Despite the high levels of confidence globally, consumers in different markets have different views about where the economy is heading in 2019,” said Bart van Ark, Global Chief Economist of The Conference Board. “In more than half the countries surveyed, consumers expressing concerns about the current state of the economy outnumbered those who were not concerned. And, the majority of global consumers do not expect conditions to become more favorable over the next twelve months. Despite consumers’ caution with regard to spending, a pullback does not appear imminent. However, the current results seem to indicate that global consumer confidence may be peaking, suggesting that global economic growth may gradually slow in the coming quarters.”
Consumers Confident About Job Prospects, Personal Finances
Globally, consumers remain confident about job prospects, with 58 percent saying conditions will be “excellent” or “good” in the next 12 months. In particular, Asian and North American consumers had a positive outlook on jobs. In Europe, consumers in several countries expressed concern about job prospects, including France, Italy, Spain and the UK. Job prospects were also weaker in Latin America and the Middle East.
As many as 63 percent of consumers had a positive outlook about their personal finances, reflecting similarly strong levels in previous quarters. But consumers are much more pessimistic in some countries, including Argentina, Venezuela, France, Italy, Russia and Turkey.
“Globally, despite relatively strong sentiment regarding job prospects and personal finances, consumers are more cautious about spending intentions, with only half of them stating this is an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ time to spend,” said Denise Dahlhoff, Senior Researcher, Consumer Research at The Conference Board. “Spending intentions appear to have softened somewhat in North America and Europe. However, consumers in Asia-Pacific showed an upward trend on spending intentions.”
Index is Latest Addition to The Conference Board’s Economic Indicators Program.
The Global Consumer Confidence Index is the latest addition to The Conference Board’s portfolio of economic indicators, which includes the Consumer Confidence Index® for the US, The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence™, the Employment Trends Index™, The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine® Index, and Leading Economic Indexes for 12 countries, the Euro Area and globally.
The Global Consumer Confidence Index is based on responses from over 32,000 online consumers in 64 markets throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and North America. It was acquired from Nielsen, which first began the survey in 2005. Nielsen, which is a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch, will continue to collaborate with The Conference Board on conducting the global survey.
“This new index series represents an important expansion of the global coverage of our economic indicators program,” said van Ark. “While informative to our members and the public on consumer expectations worldwide, it also strengthens our forecasting and research programs to provide trusted insights for what’s ahead.”
The series for the world, the 64 countries covered and regional aggregates as well as information on several components of the index, including job prospects, personal finances and spending intentions, are released on a timely basis in summary format to the public during the first two weeks of each quarter. Detailed data series are made available on a complimentary basis to members of The Conference Board.
Global Regional Highlights for First Quarter of 2019
Source: April 2019 Global Consumer Confidence Survey
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.