Nielsen’s consumer confidence findings showed that consumer spending worldwide decreased by 91 index points during the second quarter of 2012. According to the report, spending habits of consumers were affected by the ongoing financial instability in Europe, tepid job growth in the United States, and slowing economic growth in China.
According to the report, sixty-seven (67%) percent of respondents changed their spending habits to cut their expenses. During the second quarter, Nielsen found that the intended discretionary spending in all sectors worldwide was down. New technology products suffered the biggest decline by percent, to 23 percent. Consumers worldwide also cut their spending habits on holidays/vacations, and out-of-home entertainment, by 3 points to 30 percent, and 4 points to 28 percent respectively.
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Saving intentions also declined globally from 51 percent last quarter, to 47 percent during the second quarter, based on the respondents. Individuals engaged in investing in shares of stock/mutual funds declined to 19 percent, and people saving for retirement went down by 9 percent.
Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at Nielsen’s Cambrige Group, explained that consumers changed their spending habits during the second quarter in reaction to the unfavorable situations worldwide, including the slowing economic growth in emerging countries like China and India. Consumers main reaction to the global economic instability is to cut spending and consumption intentions.
The survey also revealed the consumer confidence in Asia Pacific decreased by 3 points to 100. In North America, consumer confidence decreased by four points to 88, while dropping two points lower in Latin America to 96. On the other hand, consumer confidence increased by one point each in the Middle East/Africa to 98, and Europe to 73.
According to Nielsen, during the first quarter, the overall consumer confidence in global markets increased 68 percent. For the second quarter, consumer confidence rose by 41 percent only.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions surveyed more 28,000 internet consumers in 56 countries. Its latest survey was conducted between May 4-21, 2012.