Global consumer confidence still picking up slowly

Consumer sentiment is back to pre-pandemic levels in Australia and holds up in most of Europe while it dips in the U.S.

At 42.5, Ipsos’s Global Consumer Confidence Index is up by one-half of a point from last month. The index is now 2.5 points above its historical low of June, but it is still 6.1 points lower than in January, pre-pandemic, and 4.1 points short of its 10-year average.

The Global Consumer Confidence Index is the average of 24 world markets’ National Indices. It is based on a monthly survey of more than 17,500 adults under the age of 75 conducted on Ipsos’ Global Advisor online platform.

This month, just two countries show a significant drop (1.5 points or more) in their National Index: Hungary (-1.9) and the United States (-1.6) between November and December. Both have seen a surge in Covid cases during that period. However, consumer sentiment held up in all seven countries where it had fallen significantly between October and November (Poland, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Russia, and Turkey).

Three countries display significant growth in their National Indices since November: Israel (+2.8), Australia (+2.6), and India (+1.8). Australia is showing an increase of more than two points for the third consecutive month.

National Index Trends

After China, Australia is now the second country in the survey that has recovered all the losses in consumer sentiment it had incurred since the outbreak of the pandemic.

China’s National Index remains significantly higher than it was in January 2020 (+3.0). Its National Index has been even with or above its January score of 69.6 since July. Australia’s National Index is now just half a point higher than it was in January.

  • China (72.7), Saudi Arabia (61.1), Sweden (53.3), Australia (51.0), the United States (50.5), India (50.2), and Germany (50.1) are the seven countries surveyed to have a National Index higher than 50. That was the case of only four countries (China, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and the United States) last month. Australia was last above this marker in February, India in May, and Germany in October.
  • With National Indices at or below 35, Turkey (30.4), Spain (33.2), Hungary (33.5), South Africa (34.1), Argentina (34.2), Poland (34.5), and Russia (34.8) show the lowest levels of consumer confidence among the 24 countries in the survey. Weak National Index scores have been a constant in Turkey since March, South Africa and Spain since April, and Argentina since August.

Expectations, Jobs, and Investment Index Trends

At a global level, the Jobs Index is unchanged, while both the Investment Index (+0.6) and Expectations Index (+0.8) have experienced slight increases since last month.

  • The Jobs Index (48.1 globally), indicative of confidence in job security and the employment outlook, is stable across nearly all countries. Just two (Israel and Australia) show significant gains from last month, and Hungary is the only country to display a significant decline.
  • Revealing the investment climate, the Investment Index is slightly up from last month (36.2), coming in at 36.8 globally. It is up from November in Australia, India, Israel, and Mexico by at least 1.5 points, while it has significantly declined in the United States (-1.7) and Hungary (-1.6). This marks the first gain for Turkey in this measure after two months of losses.
  • The Expectations Index (53.0), reflective of consumers’ outlook on their local economy, financial situation, and employment, is up 0.8 points globally from last month. It has reached its highest reading since March but is still down 4.0 points from January. While Australia, Belgium, South Africa, Great Britain, Turkey and Israel all experienced significant increases, the United States is the only country to show a significant decline in its expectations compared to last month (-2.0).

Visit our interactive portal, Consolidated Economic Indicators for graphic comparisons and trended data pertaining to the Ipsos Global Consumer Confidence Index and sub-indices—and all the questions on which they are based.

These findings are based on data from Refinitiv /Ipsos’ Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI) collected in a monthly survey of consumers from 24 markets via Ipsos’ Global Advisor online survey platform. For this survey, Ipsos interviews a total of 17,500+ adults aged 18-74 in the United States of America, Canada, Israel, Turkey, South Africa; and age 16-74 in all other markets each month. The monthly sample consists of 1,000+ individuals in each of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland), France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Great Britain, and the U.S., and 500+ individuals in each of Argentina, Belgium, Hungary, India, Israel, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and Turkey.