18 July 2012
New Zealand consumer confidence remained at 91, the current global average, in Q2 2012 which was down six index points from the same time last year (Q2 2011), according to Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. (see chart)
Rob Clark, managing director, Nielsen New Zealand said: “Confidence levels of New Zealanders have fallen to those experienced in 2009, and have remained at these levels for the past three quarters. This shows continued uncertainty and reluctance by consumers to spend on items considered non-essential, with almost two thirds of consumers stating it was not a good time to buy the things they need and want.”
In the latest round of the survey, conducted between May 4 and May 21, 2012, confidence declined in 26 of the 56 markets measured, and increased in 23, with the rest remaining stable. New Zealand indexed above Australia (90), US (87) and UK (75). Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.
Clark observes: “It’s a relatively rare occurrence for consumer confidence in Australia to dip below New Zealand which reflects their difficult retail environment”.
Perceptions of Job Prospects, Personal Finances
According to Nielsen’s survey, 39 percent of New Zealanders indicated their job prospects were “good” or “excellent”, down two percentage points from the previous quarter and down seven percentage points from the previous year. More than half (52%) of online consumers considered their personal finances over the next twelve months to be “good” or “excellent”, up one percentage point from Q1 2012 and down five percentage points from Q2 2011 (57%).
Economy, Debt Key Concerns
The economy and debt were key concerns for consumers surveyed. Seventeen percent of respondents indicated their top concern was the economy and 13 percent said they are concerned about debt. This was followed by job security (10%), work/life balance (10%), increasing utility bills (9%) and increasing food prices (8%).
Discretionary Spending Intentions Down
New Zealand consumers surveyed said they continue to put any spare cash they have into savings, with 40 percent stating they would do so after covering living expenses and 34 percent would utilise the money by paying off debts, credit cards or loans.
Trended Consumer Confidence Index
Source: Nielsen Global Omnibus Consumer Survey, Q2 2012
About the Nielsen Global Survey
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted May 4-21, 2012 and polled more than 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behaviour of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey was established in 2005.
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
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