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              Measuring global consumer confidence for 2019

              The fragile political and economic climate will no doubt continue to weigh heavily on consumers globally. But, crucially, how will it affect their appetite for spending?

              As part of our The Global Consumer 19 report in partnership with Retail Week we asked consumers how confident they feel about 2019 across six measures:

              These results reveal that retail is in for another challenging year, with consumers remaining cautious and reluctant to spend on non-essentials. However, there are reasons to be cheerful in some parts of the globe. For example, in the US, despite the stormy political climate, 44% feel more confident about their personal happiness and 38% about their cost of living and personal finances. Kenyan consumers also feel positive about their personal happiness in 2019. However, compare that with the UK and an altogether bleaker picture emerges – across every variable less than a quarter of consumers feel more confident about 2019 compared to last year.

              And in France, confidence around personal finances for 2019 has plummeted with 56% less confident, meaning consumers are likely to rein in spending. This is particularly evident among those aged over 55, with 68% less confident about their personal finances in the year ahead. The trend repeats itself in Italy where confidence around the ability to make big purchases and to save in 2019 is subdued.

              Australian consumers, meanwhile, are even less optimistic about their ability to save and make major purchases in 2019, suggesting price will be a big factor in that market.

              Consumers in the UAE are feeling positive when it comes to their cost of living in 2019 (55%) and their personal happiness (45%), while 46% expect to be able to save less in 2019 and 42% think they will be less able to make major purchases. Other discretionary purchases have also been hit: for example, a sugar tax in the UAE on soft drinks and energy beverages imposed in 2017 has resulted in 60% of consumers buying these items less often, according to our research.

              Testament to its healthy economy – slowing by its own standards, but still booming when compared with its Western counterparts – China is the only country where we recorded a positive sentiment across all confidence measures. This is particularly the case among 25- to 34-yearolds, where 69% are more confident about their personal happiness, 65% about their personal finances, and 63% about their ability to save and the cost of living.

              How will disposable income and consumer debt impact spending in 2019? 

              About the research 

              The DWF and Retail Week Global Consumer 2019 report surveyed 1,000 consumers in each of the following jurisdictions: Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Ireland, the UK and the US. Research took place in October 2018.

              Hilary Ross

              • Head of Retail Food and Hospitality // Executive Partner (London)

              Oliver Bolthausen, LL.M. (USA), FCIArb (UK)

              • Partner // Managing Partner (Deutschland) // Global Head of International Arbitration & Disputes

              Ed Meikle

              • Partner // Head of Retail Group
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