The main concern of consumers in the next 6 months is the global economic situation. The level of consumer confidence is falling in all regions compared to the first half of 2008.
The Nielsen Company, the world’s leading market research company, recently published the global study “Consumer Confidence, Concern, Spending and Attitudes Towards the Recession”. A Nielsen global report conducted from September 22 to October 6, 2008 among 26,202 Internet users located in 52 markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Middle East.
The study came up with important findings about the current levels of trust, spending habits and the main concerns of consumers in the face of the global economic crisis, which are a true reflection of the situation the world’s economies are going through.
In the first case, it was found that the global average of the consumer confidence index fell by 4 points, from 88 to 84 between the first and second half of 2008.
In relation to the main concerns at the global level, the economic situation was found to be the most important issue for the next six months, followed by work-life balance, price increases and job security.
Regarding the outlook for personal finance, Latin America shows the most positive perception, as 7% consider it excellent and 55% good.
As for the money that remains with consumers globally, the results show that 46% save it as savings, 34% spend it on vacations, 32% on new clothes and 31% on paying debts and loans. The results show that Asia-Pacific is the region where consumers save the most, with 58%, followed by emerging markets and Latin America with 39% of the total respondent base. On the other hand, concern about the economy is an issue of greater importance to Argentines and Mexicans, but Latin America ranks below the world average.
Likewise, Brazilians report the highest level of spending on aspects of comfort and entertainment, such as vacations, entertainment outside the home, new technology, shopping for clothes, etc., followed by Argentines who come in second in every spending pattern, but surpass them in home improvements. On the other hand, it is Venezuelans who allocate most of their surplus to credit card payments with 51%, followed by Chile and Mexico with 49%. Globally, Latin America is the main region that has this spending pattern in terms of excess money.
For only 6% of respondents in Latin America, rising food prices will be the biggest concern in the coming months. Argentina is the country that is most concerned about this issue.
Colombians are the ones who declare that they have a greater practice of saving, followed by Venezuela and Argentina. At the regional level, Latin America presented a savings rate of 39%, along with emerging countries, although there is no deep-rooted culture for investment and pension funds.
Political stability for Latin Americans is equal to the global average. But for Venezuelans, it is one of their main concerns, as it is the first concern for 21% of those surveyed, and the second for 12%, compared to 3 and 4% of the regional average, respectively.
In terms of security, Latin American respondents are the ones who show the greatest concern about crime, with Venezuela, Argentina and Mexico leading the region on this issue.
As for war, Colombia is the country most concerned about the issue in the next 6 months, followed by Russia and the United Arab Emirates. Venezuela is in eighth place
Likewise, global warming is another issue where Latin American consumers are the region with the highest level of concern.
Finally, of all the regions, Latin America is the one least concerned that a global recession could occur in the coming months. Although Mexicans and Argentines believe that their country is currently going through an economic recession.
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