NEW YORK: Three of the four top-ranked nations in Nielsen's latest consumer confidence index are in Asia, with India coming in first place.

The report, covering Q4 2010, found that India scored 131 points for consumer confidence, reflecting the nation's strong economic performance despite the global financial turbulence of recent years.

The Philippines was second on 120 points, with oil-rich Norway third on 119 and Indonesia fourth on 116.

All four nations had experienced increased consumer confidence over Q3.

The global average confidence score was 90 points, with levels decreasing in 25 of the 52 nations measured in the Nielsen survey.

Top performing regions were the fast-growth economies in Asia-Pacific, up six points year on year to 97 points, and Latin America, up six to 100 points.

Just 19% of Asia-Pacific consumers expect the global recession to last another year, compared to 39% of Europeans and 45% of North Americans.

On the main confidence index, Europe was up by just two points on 78, making it the most pessimistic region.

All of the bottom four countries on the ranking were European, with Croatia scoring lowest of all on 45 points.

But people across the world are feeling the pinch of the financial downturn more than before, with 14% of respondents saying they have "no spare cash".

This is the highest proportion since the survey began, and is an increase from the 11% measured in Q2 2010.

Dr Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of The Nielsen Company, said: "Consumers in all regions are feeling the financial squeeze more than any other time during the global recession.

"In addition to concern for global and national economic issues, consumers are also struggling with rising daily costs such as food, utilities, petrol and transport prices."

Nielsen derived its survey results via an online poll of 29,000 web users, taken during November 2010.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff