NEW YORK: Consumer confidence levels are higher in India than any other country, according to The Nielsen Company's latest Global Consumer Confidence Index. However, the majority of consumers worldwide remain pessimistic about their current financial situation.

In fact, confidence levels in India actually fell by eight points to a total of 114, but 51% of the country's consumers still predict the economic downturn will come to an end within twelve months.

Denmark followed in second place with 112 points according to Nielsen's analysis, which was conducted among 26,202 consumers worldwide in late 2008.

Global confidence was down from a high of 99 in 2006 to just 84, and fell in 82% of the 52 markets assessed, by an average of four points per country.

Latin America was the most optimistic region, with a cumulative index score of 96.8, while Asia Pacific registered a total of 85.1.

North America, by contrast, posted a slide of two points to 83, with European optimism also dropping off by five points to 77.

The only nations registering an increase were Brazil (+4), the Philippines (+3), and China, Thailand, South Africa and New Zealand (all +1).

In all, just one in six US consumers expect the recession to end in the next twelve months, and one in five said they had no spending money after paying their basic living expenses.

Worldwide, around half of consumers said they will cut spending on clothes and out-of-home entertainment, and a third will also switch to cheaper grocery brands.

A total of 62% also described their current financial situation as "not so good" or "bad".

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