India tops global consumer confidence survey

India held on to its position as the world’s most optimistic market for the ninth consecutive quarter despite worries about job security, the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions found.

Established in 2005, tracks consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 28,000 Internet consumers in 56 countries.

Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism. India had an index of 123, up 1 point from the December quarter.

Consumer confidence in the United States was up nine points at 92, its highest level since before the recession. China’s consumer confidence increased two points to 110, its highest level since the inception of the index in 2005, Nielsen said.

In the survey, conducted between February 10 and February 27, 2012, overall confidence rose in 68 percent of global markets measured, compared to Q4 2011 where confidence increased in 21 percent of global markets.

Confidence in Q1 2012 increased in 38 out of 56 markets, fell in 16 markets and remained flat in two.

India was followed by Saudi Arabia (119), Indonesia (118) and the Philippines (118). Hungary was the world’s most pessimistic market at 32 index points, followed by Greece (37) and Portugal (39).

“India once again topped the global index indicating a high level of confidence amongst consumers, who are optimistic yet cautious,” said Justin Sargent, managing director, Nielsen India.

“This optimism is reflected in Indian consumers’ increased confidence in job prospects, which is a good sign for the economy. However, job security is still a cause for concern and consumers are still cautious when it comes to spending spare cash. Similar to previous consecutive quarters, saving cash is still a priority for Indians.

“On the other hand, the personal digital revolution and experimentation by consumers who are now spoiled with affordable choices, is driving the increase in intention to spend on technology. Along with this, a growing affinity for branded apparel and organized retailing is likely to attract a growing proportion of discretionary spending despite economic volatility in the near term,” he added.

Global consumer confidence increased five index points to 94 in Q1 2012, while more than half (57%) of consumers around the world indicated they were in a recession, down from 64 percent last quarter.