Global consumer confidence up slightly

NEW YORK — Global consumer confidence cautiously edged up one index point to 93 in the second quarter as confidence increases in booming Asian markets were offset by European consumers’ growing concerns of an escalating debt crisis, which battered confidence levels in Spain, Italy and France, according to the latest edition of the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index. Consumer confidence rose two points in the U.S. in Q2 to 87.

 “While the global economy is in better shape than it was nine months ago, (+7 index points compared to Q3 2009), the ongoing European debt crisis is a major setback to the global economic recovery anticipated this year,” said Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of The Nielsen Company. 

“In the U.S., consumers are still focused on repairing their household balance sheets with 45% allotting any remaining income (once they have covered their essential living expenses) to savings and paying off debt (37%),” said James Russo, Vice President, Global Consumer Insights at The Nielsen Company. “Until the labor market shows continuous improvement, consumer spending will not be sustainable.”