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  • U.S. consumer confidence at six-year high, Europeans also more upbeat – survey

    Community, Environmental Design

    A global survey showed that consumer confidence in the United States reached a six-year high in the third quarter, as prospects for jobs and personal finances improved, and also rose sharply in Europe.

    In a quarterly survey by global information and insights company Nielsen, Americans were among the majority optimistic consumers, this reflects rising confidence that the world’s leading economy is a on a continuous growth path. U.S. stockmarkets have lifted record highs, generating a wealth result that has also made consumers more enthusiastic to spend.

    Released Wednesday last week, the survey was taken before a 16-day partial government shutdown early this month which economists expect will hurt U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter.

    “In the United States, the labor market is slowly healing, and low interest rates are helping the housing market come back and bringing up the stock market, which is perhaps especially beneficial to higher-income consumers with more assets,” said Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen.

    “It’s still going to be a slow climb – we’re not going to see huge growth rates – but this improvement is recurring and it is sustainable.”

    Indonesia continued to be the most bullish consumer market worldwide, next are the Philippines and India, as in the preceding quarter, but confidence levels in all three up-and-coming markets hollowed. It also dipped in Brazil.

    From the previous three months at 94, up 2 points from the same period a year earlier, the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index was unchanged in the third quarter. A reading below 100, yet, signals still comparatively low consumer morale.

    Portugal saw the biggest leap in consumer confidence worldwide in the third quarter, by a hefty 22 points, while Ukraine saw the biggest drop, by 13 points.

    Portugal’s bounce back led a pick-up in consumer attitude in peripheral euro zone countries that have been wrestling with tough soberness measures as they required cutting heavy debt levels.

    While the recovery is encouraging and tied with other latest economic data signifying the euro zone economy has curved the corner, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and also as France, were still among the most miserable consumer markets globally.

    “In Europe, we’ve seen a change in mindset as policymakers have moved away from austerity measures and toward growth policies,” said Bala.

    “While recovery is still uneven, many consumers – especially in countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom – are feeling that the worst is behind them, and their confidence is improving as they sense growth returning.”

    Non-euro zone member Hungary was the one thinking the most negative market globally even though it illustrated a development from the third quarter.

    Non-euro zone member Hungary was the one thinking the most negative market globally even though it illustrated a development from the third quarter.

    Source

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