Chinese, Indian shoppers to keep spending

25 May 2009

NEW YORK: Consumer spending in China will grow by 7% this year, with Indian shoppers increasing their outlay by double this amount over the same period, according to a new study from The Nielsen Company covering ten markets.

According to the research firm's estimates, Russia is one of the few countries likely to join the two fast-growing Asian economies in posting an upturn in consumer expenditure, posting an average increase of 5.5% in the next two years.

By contrast, spending levels will fall by 1.8% in the US in 2009, before rising by 2.1% in 2010, while Canada will see growth of 1% and 2% this year and next respectively. 

The UK is likely to be one of the worst affected areas in Western Europe, registering a decline of 3.1% in 2009, and static spending levels in 2010.

Nielsen also argued that the "global shift to store brands" is continuing apace, with the category enjoying growth of between 1% and 4% in the US, France, Italy and Spain in March this year, while sales remained constant in the UK, India and Germany.

In terms of "shoppers shifting to value channels," this trend was most pronounced in the UK, where over 5% of consumers traded down in March, while a similar number of retailers increased the number of promotions they were running.

In Western Europe as a whole , both unit value and volume growth in the retail sector declined in March, but Spain, Germany and Italy did post a volume expansion by 2% in Q1 this year quarter-on-quarter.

The Canadian market also "remains somewhat resilient and dollar and unit sales continue to increase", while private label sales also declined by 4.9% in March, and consumers cut down on the number of shopping visits they made.

In terms of adspend, combined TV, print and radio revenues increased by 31% in India in March on an annual basis, with TV and print ad sales also increasing by 10% in China. 

However, TV and print spending fell by 13.2% in the US in February, and slid by 8.6% in Canada in the same month compared with the same month in 2008.

In Europe, the UK posted a decline of 19.1%, while Italy saw a decline of 21.6% year-on-year, with print ads falling by almost a third.

Data sourced from The Nielsen Company; additional content by WARC staff