Global consumer confidence remained stable in the first quarter and below the optimism baseline score of 100, edging up one index point to 98. The score reflected mixed confidence levels reported in every region.
In Europe, for example, confidence declined in 17 markets and rose in 11 in the first quarter, as both advanced and developing markets grappled with issues ranging from persistently high unemployment, to geopolitical tensions, such as the refugee crisis and the Brexit debate—a U.K. referendum in June to remain within or leave the European Union.
Similar variances in consumer confidence scores were seen in Asia-Pacific, where confidence declined in eight markets and rose in five. In Africa/Middle East, confidence declined in four markets and increased in two, and in North America, confidence rose in the U.S. but declined in Canada. In Latin America, confidence declined in six of seven measured markets.
In the latest online survey, conducted March 1-23, 2016, consumer confidence increased in 20 of 61 measured markets (33%), down from 26 measured markets (43%) showing an increase in the fourth quarter of 2015.