Consumer patterns reveal Asia is only region gaining confidence

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

Consumer patterns reveal Asia is only region gaining confidence

Related tags: Economics

According to recent findings from Nielsen, Asia posted the only regional gain in confidence from consumers from the previous quarter, increasing one index point to 105, four points higher than Q4 2012.

The market analyst reports Indonesia to have the highest consumer confidence index (124) for the fourth consecutive quarter, increasing four index points compared to Q3.

India also reversed its downward confidence trend of the last three quarters by increasing three index points to 115 in Q4 2013.

"The percentage of Indians who said they were in a recession declined 14 percentage points to 62% from 76% in Q3 2013​," say the firm's analysts.

Region sees marginal gains

All confidence indicators posted marginal gains in Asia-Pacific in the fourth quarter, with a 2-percentage point increase for job prospects (62%), a 1-percentage point increase for personal finances (62%) and a 3-percentage point rise for spending perceptions over the next 12 months (43%).

Consumer confidence increased in six of 14 countries, with a quarterly increase of 6 percentage points in Japan, which posted its highest index since 2005 of 80.

While the recovery has been painfully slow, it is important to point out that recovery in many key economies is on the right track,​” says Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen.

"The U.S., Japan, China and 33 other countries each ended 2013 with higher consumer confidence scores than at the start the year.​”

In Europe, consumer confidence fell

It was not great news for Europe as confidence declined 11 index points in Portugal, 10 points in France and six points in Belgium, compared to Q3.

However, the region’s largest economy, Germany, posted a confidence score of 95, three points higher than Q3 and eight points ahead of the same time period the previous year (Q4 2012).

Portugal, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia each reported the lowest consumer confidence index of 44.

As 2014 progresses, a brighter outlook is expected, but sluggishness will continue until there is a marked improvement in the jobless rate and wages go up commensurate with rising costs,​” says Bala.

Recession-minded consumers who are already challenged by rising living expenses showed a reluctance to spend leading up to the holiday season and kept their money in their wallets.​”

Related topics: Market Trends, All Asia-Pacific

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