73% of South African consumers believe that our country is in a recession or have a recessionary sentiment, according to the latest Nielsen’s Consumer Confidence Index Report for the second quarter of 2015.
Consumer Confidence is measured as either an optimistic + % or a pessimistic – %.
South African Consumer Confidence is more pessimistic in general, as opposed to other countries in the world. Then again, wealth and spending power are not affected by Consumer Confidence. Actually, these two measures are often inverse.
Here are some of the most interesting Consumer Confidence survey questions, along with the percentage of consumers who chose the supplied respective answers:
– What do you think of your local job prospects over the next 12 months?
Good – 27%
Not so good – 45%
Poor – 20%
– Considering the cost of things today and your personal finances, would you say this is the right time to buy the things you want or need?
Good time – 27%
Not so good/ bad time – 70%
– Once you have covered your essential living expenses, how do you spend your spare cash?
Debts, credit cards & loans – 41%
Savings – 34%
No spare cash – 24%
– What are your biggest concerns over the next six months?
1. Debt – 17%
The economy – 15%
2. Increasing utility bills (electricity/gas/heating) – 14%
Crime – 12%
– Is South Africa in a recession at the moment?
Yes, we are in a recession – 73%
We won’t be out of the recession by next year – 69%
Not sure – 25%
– Have you changed your spending habits since last year to save on household expenses? If so, what have you cut back on?
Yes – 81%
New clothes – 64%
Gas & electricity – 63%
– How would you continue to save on household expenses after economic conditions improve?
Take-aways & electricity – +50%
Cheaper grocery brands – 30%
After four consecutive quarters of unchanged circumstances and primarily cautionary confidence, it’s no wonder our perceptions remain negative.
Then again, the fact that paying off debt has now become the major concern of consumers, overtaking job security and the economy, shows just how real the struggle has become. Getting debt free is every consumer’s top priority right now.