Ipsos’s new reading on economic sentiment around the world finds consumers losing confidence as the war in Ukraine rages on, inflation continues to rise, and COVID-19 is still among us. The latest survey conducted between March 25 and April 8 finds that the Consumer Confidence indices of 23 countries have dropped by an average of 0.8 points since last month. This is the steepest month-over-month decrease since June 2020, erasing the gains from the past 10 months.
The downward trend in consumer sentiment is led by seven countries whose National Consumer Confidence Index has declined by more than 1.5 points since last month: Germany, Belgium, Spain, China, Great Britain, Sweden, and Turkey. In contrast, Saudi Arabia is the sole country showing an uptick in its National Index of more than 1.5 points. While eight countries report a higher National Index than it was at the beginning of 2020, 12 report a lower one.
Of note, nine of the 23 countries show a significant drop from last month in their Expectations Index, indicative of consumers’ outlook about their future financial situation, local economy, and jobs environment.
National Index Trends
This month, for only the second time in over five years, China is not the country with the highest National Index score. (The first time was in March 2020 before the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic.) As the price of oil has reached highs not seen in almost 15 years while millions in major Chinese cities are under lockdown to control the Omicron variant, Saudi Arabia’s National Index score (69.3) is now surpassing China’s (67.8).
Six other countries show a National Index above the 50-point mark: India (64.0), Sweden (58.5), Australia (55.7), the United States (53.6), Germany (50.6), and Canada (50.1). However, it is no longer the case for Great Britain for the first time in a year.
At 28.5, Turkey continues to be the only country with a National Index below 35.
The eight countries still showing an index score that is significantly higher than it was in January 2020, pre-pandemic, are Saudi Arabia (+5.2), Australia (+5.1), India (+4.4), France (+2.6), Sweden (+2.6), South Korea (+2.4), Italy (+2.3), and South Africa (+1.8).
The 12 countries whose National Index is significantly lower than it was pre-pandemic are the United States (-9.0), Poland (-7.4), Israel (-5.7), Turkey (-5.6), Brazil (-3.8), Germany (-3.0), Belgium (-2.9), Argentina (-2.5), Canada (-2.2), Hungary (-2.0), China (-1.8), and Mexico (-1.5).
Jobs, Expectations, and Investment Index Trends
Among 23 countries:
- Nine show a significant drop (at least 1.5 points) in their Expectations Index, indicative of consumers’ financial, economic, and employment outlook: Germany, Belgium, China, Sweden, Turkey, Great Britain, Spain, South Africa, and Italy. Only Saudi Arabia shows a significant gain.
- Seven countries (Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, and Japan) show significant losses in their Investment Index, indicative of consumers’ purchasing and investment confidence and their financial situation and outlook. India (+1.6) is the only country to show a significant gain.
- Four countries show significant month-on-month gains in their Jobs Index: most of all Saudi Arabia (+3.7) and to a lesser extent, Hungary, Poland, and Israel. In contrast, only China (-4.6) shows a significant drop.
These findings are based on data from Refinitiv/Ipsos’ Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI) collected in a monthly survey of consumers via Ipsos’ Global Advisor online survey platform. The results are based on interviews with a total of 17,000+ adults aged 18-74 in the United States of America, Canada, Israel, Turkey, and South Africa; and aged 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, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and Turkey.