Brexit and trade wars may be weighing heavy on the global economy, but consumer confidence is still riding high.
New data confirms confidence is still holding at a record high for the second quarter in a row.
Even though Brexit dominates the UK headlines, consumers are positive about their economic future, as are those in Germany and Greece.
Although confidence has softened a little in the Asia-Pacific power houses of India and China, consumers are still the most confident in the world, according to the Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Index for the second quarter of 2019.
The index stays unchanged at a record 107 – with any score over 100 representing a positive outlook.
“Despite the lack of momentum in overall consumer confidence, the results suggest a continued positive outlook for consumer spending over the next half year,” said Bart van Ark, chief economist of The Conference Board.
“Confident consumers will continue to bolster the economy, providing a defence against slowing global GDP growth. However, the increase in the number of markets experiencing declining confidence and somewhat increased concerns about job prospects bears watching. A continuation of negative news about a possible escalation of geopolitical uncertainties could further increase anxieties about job security and erode confidence in the economy.”
The study reports the biggest concerns for consumers were reported as fears for the economy and job security.
Spending habits changed
“Going forward, this growing economic anxiety could impact consumers’ perceptions of whether it’s a good time to spend,” said van Ark.
“At the same time, however, fewer consumers in North America, the Euro Area and the mature economies of Asia-Pacific have changed their spending or saving habits. Also, an increasing share of consumers in these regions are putting extra cash into stocks/mutual funds, which suggests some confidence that economic and financial conditions will not worsen dramatically.
“In North America, Asia-Pacific and several European economies, there seems to be a gradually waning interest in spending disposable income on new clothing. Spending on new technology, however, recovered from its slight recent softness.”
Source: The Conference Board