Global Consumer Confidence Is Declining

Turkey, France, India, China Show Largest Drops; Brazil, Saudi Arabia Largest Increases. More Countries See Decreases than Gains in Jobs, Expectations and Investment Indices.

At 49.6, Ipsos’s Global Consumer Confidence Index in December is now 0.9 points below its level in September when it hit an all-time record high. The index is now at its lowest point in 14 months. With a 71.4 score, China maintains its lead as the most confident global economy despite a three-month drop of 3.0 points. Saudi Arabia (+4.0 to 62.9) moves to second place ahead of the United States (-0.5 to 62.1), India (-3.4 to 61.3), and Sweden (-0.9 to 60.6). Turkey (-7.9 to 31.7), Argentina (+1.0 to 37.9), France (-4.9 to 38.5), and South Africa (-2.3 to 39.2) are the most pessimistic countries in the index. Only three countries see a significant increase of 1.5 points or more: Brazil (+5.7 to 48.2), Saudi Arabia, and Mexico (+1.9 to 52.4). Meanwhile, eight countries see a significant decrease: Turkey, France, India, China, South Africa, Belgium (-2.2 to 46.8), Spain (-1.7 to 42.1), and South Korea (-1.6 to 41.2). 

December’s global Jobs Index also falls 0.9 points to 58.4. Three countries enjoy Jobs Index scores of more than 70 points: Sweden (unchanged at 75.2), the United States (+0.6 to 75.1), and Germany (-1.5 to 72.1). The top gainers include Brazil (+4.5 to 39.5), Mexico (+3.3 to 53.2), Hungary (+2.0 to 58.7), and Argentina (+1.5 to 44.2). Turkey (-7.2 to 38.9), Brazil, South Africa (-4.5 to 41.7), and Argentina are the five lowest scorers. Meanwhile, the five countries showing the steepest decreases include Turkey, China (-4.9 to 68.3), South Africa, France (-3.2 to 56.1), and Great Britain (-2.4 to 65.5). 

This month’s global Expectations Index shows a lesser drop of 0.3 points to rest at 58.0. China (-1.2 to 72.7) remains the lone country with an Expectations Index value above 70. Only Brazil (+6.3 to 68.4) and Saudi Arabia (+3.7 to 67.6) report significant increases in December. Turkey (-6.0 to 40.9) shows both the lowest Expectations Index score of any country and the most negative three-month change. Expectations are also down significantly in France (-3.5 to 46.1), Great Britain (-2.4 to 51.8), South Korea (-1.9 to 49.2), South Africa (-1.7 to 49.5), India (-1.7 to 69.0), and Belgium (-1.6 to 53.3). 

Consumers around the world are showing a lesser propensity to invest. The global Investment Index is down to 42.7 as it dropped by 1.2-points over the past three months. In total, twelve countries see a significant decline, most of all Turkey (-9.5 to 23.8 – its lowest Investment score since the launch of the index in March 2010), France (-6.6 to 26.0 – its lowest level in more than three years), and India (-5.5 to 61.0 – its lowest level in more than four years). The other nine countries undergoing a notable drop are Belgium, China, South Korea, Japan, the U.S., Sweden, Spain, South Africa, and Hungary. Their losses are offset by significant gains in only two countries: Saudi Arabia (+6.5 to 64.7) and Brazil (+5.9 to 48.9). Despite being down, China and India’s scores are still among the world’s top three, along with Saudi Arabia’s. The countries with the lowest Investment Index scores are now, in order: Turkey, France, Japan (-2.0 to 26.7), Argentina (-0.2 to 30.0), South Korea (-2.3 to 30.6), Hungary (-1.5 to 34.0), and Russia (-1.2 to 34.3).