A slight decline was seen in the first quarter of 2019 in the Global Consumer Confidence Index of 106, one point lesser than the previous 107 in the 4th quarter of 2018. However, still, it is considered to be at a significantly high level when compared with the initiation of the index in 2005. Consumers are expected to be sustaining spending, but with more caution, within the slowing global economy.
The increasing strength of the many emerging markets evened out the decrease in consumer confidence in many mature markets. Global Chief Economist of the Conference Board, Bart van Ark stated: “Despite the high levels of confidence globally, consumers in different markets have different views about where the economy is heading in 2019. In more than half the countries surveyed, consumers expressing concerns about the current state of the economy outnumbered those who were not concerned. And, the majority of global consumers do not expect conditions to become more favorable over the next twelve months. Despite consumers’ caution with regard to spending, a pullback does not appear imminent. However, the current results seem to indicate that global consumer confidence may be peaking, suggesting that global economic growth may gradually slow in the coming quarters.”
Consumers around the world remained confident about the prediction of their jobs. Around 58% said that the conditions in the following year will be either excellent or good. Specifically the Asian and North American were seen have a positive stance about jobs while the Europeans seemed concerned.
Senior Researchers at the Conference Board, Denise Dahloff said: “Globally, despite relatively strong sentiment regarding job prospects and personal finances, consumers are more cautious about spending intentions, with only half of them stating this is an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ time to spend. Spending intentions appear to have softened somewhat in North America and Europe. However, consumers in Asia-Pacific showed an upward trend on spending intentions.”
Van ark passed the following statement on the current index: “This new index series represents an important expansion of the global coverage of our economic indicators program. While informative to our members and the public on consumer expectations worldwide, it also strengthens our forecasting and research programs to provide trusted insights for what’s ahead.”