U.S. consumers are pessimistic; confidence is back in Asia, Brazil
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index (released Feb. 23, based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households through Feb. 17) now stands at 46.0 (1985=100), down from a relatively optimistic 56.5 in January. The closely watched indicator, based on a monthly survey by TNS, echoes other measures of the American consumer’s readiness and/or willingness to spend. The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers on Feb. 12 reported its preliminary index of consumer sentiment for February was 73.7, down from 74.4 in late January (but up from 56.3 a year ago).
Is the pessimism universal? The latest Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index shows the consumers of Latin America (at 98 on a scale of 0 to 200) and Asia/Pacific (at 91) well ahead of their counterparts in North America (84) and Europe (77) when it comes to confidence, with the biggest gains in the markets recovering fastest from recession — including Hong Kong, China, Singapore, India, and Brazil. [Note: The Datamyne covers China, India and Brazil.]
But post-holiday second-thoughts about what lies ahead can dampen spirits in even the strongest markets. The Getulio Vargas Foundation (Fundação Getulio Vargas), which saw a boost in its Brazilian Consumer Confidence Index in January to 113, now reports [in Portuguese] slippage of 2.2 point in February. The current 110 is still well above the historical average of 107.
Date posted: March 1, 2010