NEW YORK: Global consumer confidence has fallen to a new low of 77 points, down from a total of 84 points in the second half of 2008, according to figures from Nielsen's latest bi-annual Global Consumer Confidence Index.

The company surveyed 25,420 people in 50 countries, and found that 70% are planning to reduce their overall expenditure levels.

Within this, more than half of all respondents intend to cut back on purchases of new clothes and out-of-home entertainment, with 41% also switching to cheaper grocery products.

Furthermore, over 20% argue they will continue to buy lower-cost grocery goods and reduce their outlay on apparel once the downturn ends.

Some 6.4% of US consumers said they were buying more store brands, while total national FMCG sales in the country fell by over 2% in February.

Confidence levels in the US also fell to 80 points from 82 in H2 last year, with a fifth of Americans predicting the economy will recover in the next year, compared with a global average of 23%.

By contrast, 60% of Indians expect the slowdown to end in the next 12 months, while 65% of Chinese participants did not think their home country could currently be said to be experiencing a recession.

Russia posted the largest overall decline in confidence, falling 29 points to an index score of 74, followed by the UAE, down 21 points to 89, and Brazil, which saw a slide of 15 points to 82 overall. 

Confidence levels were at their highest in Denmark and India – which registered scores of 104 and 102 respectively – and lowest in South Korea (31 points), Japan (42 points) and Latvia (48 points).

Europe is the most pessimistic area in regional terms, with an average index score of 70, while Latin America has also seen a substantial decline on this measure compared with the second half of 2008.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by WARC staff