Bloomberg News

Consumer Confidence Gains as China, U.S. Rise in Nielsen Survey

February 13, 2012

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Global consumer confidence rose in the December quarter as improving sentiment in the U.S. and China, the world’s largest economies, outweighed deterioration in Europe, according to a survey by Nielsen Holdings NV.

Nielsen, an analytics and information company, said yesterday its index of consumer confidence rose one point in the period to 89. The company surveyed more than 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries from Nov. 23 to Dec. 9 with sentiment falling compared to the September quarter in 30 of those markets, according to an e-mailed statement.

North America posted the biggest regional gain, rising five points to 84 in the period, as measures for personal finance and employment improved. The Asia-Pacific region remains the most optimistic, with seven of the 10 highest scores, while 24 of the 27 markets in Europe posted declines in the quarter.

“Europe’s challenging economic conditions in the second half of 2011 brought renewed vulnerability and fragility to consumers and financial markets globally,” said Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at Nielsen’s Cambridge Group unit. “Some of the most positive news last quarter came from the world’s two largest economies.”

Europe’s debt crisis and continuing political uncertainty were responsible for its decline in confidence, with 23 percent of respondents in the region rating job prospects as either good or excellent, Nielsen said.

Denmark and Romania were the only European countries to become more optimistic and Germany was unchanged as the region accounted for eight of the 10 most-pessimistic markets.

India is the most optimistic in the world with an index reading of 122, followed by Indonesia and the Philippines which both reported a level of 117, according to Nielsen.

The survey, which was established in 2005, has a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 0.6 percentage point, it said.

--Editors: Jim McDonald, Paul Gordon

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Fenner in Melbourne at rfenner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jim McDonald at jmcdonald8@bloomberg.net


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