March 2020: Consumer confidence still holding up globally, but expectations are down

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At 48.5, March 2020’s Ipsos Global Consumer Confidence Index, measuring consumer sentiment across 24 world markets, remains unchanged against last month and virtually unmoved since the beginning of the year (48.7). However, the Expectations Index (56.5), reflective of consumers’ outlook on employment, their financial situation and their local economy is down 0.4 points vs. last month, and 0.5 points since the beginning of the year globally.

For the first time since May 2017, mainland China no longer holds the highest National Index score: at 64.1, it is now almost six points lower than it was in January. Saudi Arabia now leads all countries surveyed in the National Index (65.1) as well as in the Expectations Index and in the Investment Index, indicative of consumer views about their current and future personal financial situation and their purchasing and investment confidence.

Similar to last month, the stability of the Global Consumer Confidence Index (the average of all countries’ National Index scores) masks a combination of notable increases in several markets and drops in others. Between last December and March, six countries have seen large upticks in their National Index: Great Britain (+5.3), Argentina (+4.5), Spain (+3.3), Sweden (+3.0), Saudi Arabia (+2.2), and Turkey (+2.1). During the same three-month period, in addition to China (-5.0), four markets have experienced notable drops: Hungary (-3.4), India (-3.4), Mexico (-3.0), and Israel (-2.5).

Looking only at changes vs. February, four other countries show a drop in their National Index and a larger one in their Expectations Index: Japan (-1.9 and -2.7, respectively), South Korea (-1.6 and -2.2), Italy (-1.3 and -2.7) and the U.S (-1.2 and -1.7), in addition to Mexico (-1.5 and -1.8).

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