Retail shopping

Consumers are ready to spend. Nielsen’s Consumer Confidence Index observed an increase in global confidence by rising three points between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the second quarter of this year due to growth in 41 of 63 international markets.

The analysis found that North American shoppers had the highest confidence across regions. According to the index, other areas that posted growth in during the second quarter were Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Latin America. “Trends in Europe were particularly noteworthy, as the region posted its ninth straight quarter of confidence gains, with 22 of 33 countries seeing higher sentiment than at the close of 2016,” said researchers of the index.

The analysis also found that overarching sentiment has been trending upward over the last year. “In looking at the overall trend lines, confidence levels were higher in five of the world’s six regions than they were a year ago,” the index said. “Africa/Middle East saw the greatest change in confidence in the second quarter, with the index for the region rising five points to a score of 88 from 83, followed by Asia-Pacific and Latin America.”

The index attributed three main factors that are driving up consumer confidence: job prospects, the state of personal finances, and the belief that now is optimal timing to finalize once delayed needed items.

“Sentiment about job prospects improved two points globally when compared against the end of 2016. Additionally, fewer global consumers believe their job prospects are worse now than they were in fourth-quarter 2016,” said the index. “Optimism levels about personal finances increased from a score of 47 at the end of 2016 to 50 among consumers who said their finances were ‘good.’”

The Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index tracks and analyzes perceptions on job markets, personal finances, and spending intentions. The survey measures the sentiments of over 30,000 participants with access to the internet in over 63 countries. Globally movement of two points are statistically significant – on a regional level, movement of three to four points is notable, the index said.

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