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Consumer confidence low across Europe

News, 11 December 2014

LONDON: The bloom of consumer confidence seen across Europe in the spring and summer has long gone, with latest data from a tracker survey charting a decline into negative territory for most of the region.

YouGov's EuroTrack survey, which tracks economic sentiment across seven European nations, asks people in each if they expect their country's economy to get better or worse over the next 12 months. 


Taken as a net score (subtracting the percentage who expect the economy to get worse from those who expect it to get better), economic optimism in most countries generally rose at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014, but has fallen since then.

The Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) averaged together reached +4 in April, but have since fallen back to -22.

Germany may be Europe's economic powerhouse in terms of its regional GDP share, but economic optimism is lacking, having peaked at +5 in February before sliding deep into negative territory at -24.

During the lifetime of this tracker, France has never managed to return a positive net score, its high of -41 coming in August 2013, although it came close to matching that in April 2014 with a net score of -46. The current figure of -56 was the lowest of any nation.

The UK hit a high of +25 in July, but had slipped back down to +1 in November. It was the only territory to register a positive net score, but this marked a sharp decline in confidence in the space of only a few months.

Elsewhere, the seventh quarterly iteration of ad agency JWT's Austerity Index highlighted a gender gap in how UK consumers viewed the performance of the economy.

Thus, for example, 28% of women felt the UK economy was in a recovery, compared to 41% of men. And 58% of women were dissatisfied with the government's measures to manage the economy, versus 47% of men.

At a more personal level, 46% of women and 38% of men had less than £50 in their bank accounts at the end of the month, while 77% of women and 69% of men had made a financial sacrifice to make ends meet.

Data sourced from YouGov, JWT; additional content by Warc staff