NEW YORK: Global consumers became increasingly confident about their future prospects and more positive in their spending intentions during the second quarter of 2013, a new survey has revealed.
The latest quarterly survey from Nielsen, the market research company, showed consumer confidence rose one point since the first quarter of this year to index at 94, an increase of three points from the second quarter of 2012.
However, the poll of 29,000 respondents in 58 countries, still registered below Nielsen's baseline of 100 that indicates neutral sentiment, meaning that the global index remained in negative territory. There were also sharp regional variations.
South East Asia returned the most positive results, with seven markets reporting indices above the 100 baseline. Indonesia, with an index of 124, emerged as the country with the world's most confident consumers, closely followed by the Philippines on 121, Thailand on 114 and Malaysia on 103.
China too remained robust where confidence increased two points to 110 while Japan, the world's third largest economy, reported a five-point increase to 78.
Confidence decreased overall in Latin America for the second consecutive quarter, falling one point to 93, although Brazil reported a positive reading of 110.
Europe's confidence index remained unchanged at 71 and confidence declined from the previous quarter in 14 out of 29 European markets. The region also included nine of the bottom ten index scores, although some markets improved, including the UK, which rose four points to 79.
Venktatesh Bala, chief economist at the Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen, told Reuters that "the European consumer is in a holding pattern and at Nielsen we see a distinct set of tiers with German consumers being the most confident, followed by consumers in the UK, France, and then Italy and Greece where confidence is both low and also falling".
Elsewhere, consumer confidence in the US increased three points to 96, just below the "neutral" level. In all, 72% of US respondents said they believed they were in recession, a 5% improvement from the first quarter and a 15% change from the five-year average from 2008-12.
James Russo, a senior vice president at Nielsen attributed the biggest drivers of change in the US to be record gains in equity markets and the housing rebound, which he said were impacting household wealth and spending potential.
Data sourced from Nielsen, Reuters; additional content by Warc staff