The result of the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions for the fourth quarter of 2012 found that 59 percent of consumers globally think there is an economic recession.


However, according to the research firm, the number of consumers who believe there is an economic crisis improved. During the third quarter, 62 percent of those surveyed believe there is an economic recession.

The research firm said seven out of ten or 71 percent of the respondents located in North America believe the economy was in recession in the fourth quarter last year. Although still high, the Nielsen survey showed the fourth-quarter results dropped  15 percent compared to the data during the same period in 2011,  which was the biggest improvement in recessionary mindset among all regions.

“North America is slowly, but steadily heading in the right direction. Compared with a year ago, North America showed progress toward recovery with a six-point year-on-year consumer confidence increase, driven mainly by a three-point increase in a positive job outlook, up from 37 percent in Q4 2011 to 40 percent in Q4 2012. With continued weakness in Europe and uneven growth in Asia, it may well be that with a brighter job market, the U.S. serves as the critical engine of improved global economic activity in 2013,” said Dr. Venkash Bala, chief economist at Nielsen’s Cambridge Group.

In the Asia Pacific region, the study revealed that 48 percent of the respondents in the survey believe there is an economic crisis while 50 percent of respondents located in the Latin American region think the same. The results decline by four percent, and three percent, respectively, compared with the data from the third quarter.

Meanwhile, 75 percent of respondents in the European region believe they are still in recession and 73 percent of consumers from Middle East and African region who participated in the survey believe there is an economic crisis in 4Q. The result was up by 1 percent compared with data from the previous quarter.

The Nielsen survey also found that among the respondents in the survey, people from the European region have the most negative perception about the future of the economy. Sixty four percent (64%) of believe the economic crisis will continue within the next twelve months, a one percent increase compared with the result of the survey in Q3.

In North America, 55 percent of consumers believe the economic recession will not be resolved in one year. The number of people who are pessimistic about the economy in North America dropped by 3 percent, which means more people are becoming more positive about the economy in North America.

Meanwhile, 40% of consumers from Asia Pacific and Latin America and 36 % of respondents from Middle East and Africa believed the economic recession will continue for another twelve months.

The result of the Nielsen report was based on the response of more than 29,000 consumers with internet access in 58 countries, which was conducted on November 10-27, 2012.