Global consumer optimism rallies to its highest in nine months

Ten countries show significant month-to-month gains in consumer sentiment.

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Public Affairs, US
  • Sara Machi Public Affairs, US
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As the new year begins, Ipsos Global Consumer Confidence Index shows an uptick of nine-tenths of one point from last month to 43.4. After experiencing relative stability in November and December, global consumer sentiment is up to its highest level since April 2020. However, the index is down 5.2 points from its pre-pandemic level of January 2020 and falls 3.2 points short of its 10-year historical 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, 10 countries display significant growth in their National Index when compared to December 2020: India (+3.4), Hungary (+2.2), Argentina (+2.1), Belgium (+2.0), Canada (+2.0), Saudi Arabia (+1.7), Poland (+1.7), Australia (+1.6), Israel (+1.6), and China (+1.5).

Only Japan (-1.9) shows a significant drop in its National Index vs. last month. Prior to this month, Japan had not experienced a notable decline in consumer sentiment since May 2020. While the United States posted a significant loss last month, its National Index is nearly unchanged from December (-0.3).

National index trends

With a month-on-month gain of 1.6 points, Australia joins China as the only two countries surveyed among all 24 with a significantly higher National Index when compared to one year ago.

  • Seven countries (the same as last month) have a National Index higher than 50: China (74.1), Saudi Arabia (62.8), Sweden (54.5), India (53.6), Australia (52.7), Germany (50.3), and the United States (50.2). While Germany, Australia, and India have been in this group for the last two months, both China and Saudi Arabia have never seen their National Index drop below 50 during the pandemic – nor at any time since the tracker’s inception.
  • With National Indices at or below 35, Turkey (31.7), Spain (33.5), South Africa (33.9), and Russia (34.9) continue to lag in consumer confidence. Turkey’s index has not scored above 35 points since March of last year, while South Africa and Spain haven’t since April.

Expectations, jobs, and investment index trends

Globally, the Jobs (+0.7) and Expectations (+0.8) Indices have both gained a little less than one point since last month. The Investment Index (+1.2) is posting its largest month-to-month increase since the start of the tracker in 2010. Japan is the only country to show losses across all three of these indices.

  • Giving insight into perceptions of job security and employment outlook, the Jobs Index (at 48.7 globally) shows significant positive growth from last month in Argentina, Hungary, Australia, Israel, Canada, and India. This is the fourth month in a row that Australia has posted a gain in this measure. Japan is the only country to show a significant decline in its Jobs Index reading compared to last month, but it remains well above the global average.
  • At 53.8, the Expectations Index, which reveals consumers’ outlook on their local economy, financial situation, and employment, is up 0.8 points globally from December. It is down just 3.1 points from its pre-pandemic level of January 2020. Eight countries – Turkey, Hungary, Belgium, India, Poland, Argentina, Israel, and Canada – report significant increases compared to last month. Japan and South Africa are the only countries to post a decline.
  • At 38.0 globally, the Investment Index, indicative of the investment climate, shows a record hike of 1.2 points over last month. Showing widespread improvements, 10 countries see gains this month, compared to just four from November to December. These countries include India, Saudi Arabia, Poland, China, Hungary, Italy, Argentina, Canada, Sweden, and Belgium. In contrast, the Investment Index reading in Japan is down compared to December 2020.

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.
The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Public Affairs, US
  • Sara Machi Public Affairs, US

Consumer & Shopper