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British consumer confidence hits nine-year high

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27th Jul 2015
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British consumers are the most confident they’ve been in nine years about the nation’s economic and job prospects, says Nielsen’s latest Global Consumer Confidence Index.

The results are good news for marketers and retailers, as a key statistic from the survey states 45% of UK consumers feel “now is a good time to make purchases", while 56% say they’ve changed spending habits to save money stood at 56% – the second lowest point on record.

The UK’s consumer confidence rating hit 97 in Q1 2015. The last time it was higher was Q1 2006 (101), when Tony Blair was in his third term as UK Prime Minister. Only Denmark has a higher consumer confidence rating in Europe, with 106. Ukraine’s is the lowest, at 41.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted in February and March 2015, polling more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America to determine their attitude towards spending and their nation’s economy.

India has the highest level of consumer confidence across the globe, with a rating of 130. Britain’s score of 101 represents “a degree of optimism”, says Nielsen’s UK managing director, Steve Smith, and is part of Britain’s slow rise from recession in 2009:

“Consumer confidence in the UK continues to rise. The UK is one of the fastest growing major economies, unemployment is falling and people are benefiting from zero inflation and lower prices in supermarkets and petrol stations,” explains Nielsen UK managing director Steve Smith.

“Whilst the majority of people are still cost-cutting – perhaps habitually now – wages, for others, are rising faster than household expenses. This is leading to more optimism about their future spending, so we expect to see confidence continue to rise in 2015.”

Dan Cohen, regional director, Tradedoubler states that while the results are positive, retailers and marketers must acknowledge the changing shopping habits of UK consumers to make the most of the opportunity:

“With purchasing set to rise this year, brands and advertisers need to be reaching customers where they are, which is now on a range of and even multiple devices at different times and stages of the purchase cycle. When looking at the purchase journey, 50% of consumers are now using their mobile devices to start the search process, and 46% used mobile exclusively when performing research online, according to Telmetrics.

“Our own research also shows that nearly half of respondents (47%) turn to their smartphone to compare prices, just to make sure they get the best deal, and around three in ten (29%) go on to buy.  With consumer confidence in Britain soaring, there has never been a better time to optimise your consumer facing properties and marketing channels, not only to reach customers but to track their route to purchase and prevent lost sales.”

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