New Zealand Consumer Confidence Index Remains Low Despite Rising Two Points In Q2 2011
AUCKLAND – August 1, 2011:
The latest findings from Nielsen’s Global Online Consumer Survey for the second quarter of 2011 shows that New Zealand
consumer confidence remains relatively low despite increasing two index points compared to the last quarter. In addition
Australia consumer confidence fell to its lowest since June 2009.
The Nielsen Global Online Consumer Confidence Survey tracks consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions
among more than 31,000 Internet consumers across 56 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of
100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.
In the latest round of the survey, conducted between May 20 and June 7, 2011, global online consumer confidence fell
three index points from 92 to 89 – its lowest reading since Q4 2009. Confidence in New Zealand rose two index points to
97, while Australia fell seven index points to 103.
While overall confidence levels in New Zealand remain strong relative to the global benchmark, many New Zealand
consumers remain cautious, with 46 percent putting spare cash they have into savings and 37 percent channeling surplus
cash into paying off debts, credit cards and loans. Many New Zealand consumers said they were: saving on gas and
electricity (68%), switching to cheaper grocery brands (67%), cutting down on take-away meals (64%) and cutting back on
out-of-home entertainment (61%) to reduce their household expenditure.
The Nielsen survey showed 75 per cent of Kiwis think New Zealand is currently in an economic recession – higher than
both the Asia Pacific and global averages (45% and 58% respectively). Twenty seven percent of Australians say they are
in a recession at the moment.
More consumers globally are feeling cash strapped as the cost of living and rising food and energy prices continue to
squeeze household budgets. Globally, rising food prices are consumer’s top concern, surpassing concerns about the
economy for the second quarter in a row.
For New Zealand consumers specifically, increasing food prices remains the number one concern for 28 percent of Kiwi
respondents while 26 percent said the economy was a major concern. Other concerns raised by Kiwis included rising
utility bills and increasing fuel prices, however the latter has fallen back due to petrol price reductions in recent
“There is clearly a continued focus around the globe and in New Zealand to save and reduce household debt,” said Rob
Clark, Managing Director, Nielsen New Zealand. “Concerns over job prospects and the state of peoples own finances remain
high. Add to this rising food prices, the earthquake and tsunami in Christchurch and Japan, as well as the current
financial issues facing Greece, and it’s no surprise that we have not seen a material improvement in consumer
About the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey
The Nielsen Global Online Survey was conducted between May 20 and June 7, 2011 and polled more than 31,000 consumers in
56 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has
quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of
Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of
respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting
standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion.
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in
marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement,
trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New
York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, please visit www.nielsen.com.
# # #