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Global Consumer Confidence Hits Record High

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The Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey Finds Optimism Rising amid Accelerating Vaccinations and Sustained Fiscal Stimulus    

NEW YORK, April 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Global consumer confidence soared to record heights in the first quarter of 2021, according to The Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey, as vaccination campaigns broadened, travel restrictions loosened, and governments and central banks continued to provide economic stimulus. 

The survey found that overall global consumer confidence shot up from 98 in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 108 in the first quarter of 2021. That figure exceeded the reading of 106 registered in pre-pandemic 2020 Q1 (a figure above 100 is considered positive) and is the highest recorded since the survey began in 2005. Confidence rose in 49 of 65 markets surveyed, as economic activity resumed, COVID-19 cases peaked in many economies, and vaccine development and distribution expanded. The vaccines contributed to that revival, so individual economies' level of access to them will greatly affect the timing of their recoveries and boosts in consumer confidence. (For 2020 Q4 indexes, results exclude China due to data collection constraints.) 

"The lightening of consumer moods globally bodes well for spending throughout the remainder of the year as economies continue to emerge from the 2020 pandemic-induced economic downturn and work toward arresting the spread of the virus," said Dana Peterson, Chief Economist of The Conference Board. "Nonetheless, the global economic recovery – and, consequently, consumer sentiment – is likely to continue to vary notably from region to region. Economies with greater access to vaccines are likely to achieve herd immunity, and thus will return to a state of normalcy sooner."  

Additional takeaways include:  

The record-setting global economic confidence was driven by increases in most regions but not all of them. 

The scars of the recession lingered, with health and economic concerns looming large. 

"With uncertainty around jobs and health prompting consumers to continue economizing, it seems clear that GDP returning to pre-pandemic levels will not in itself mark a return to the old normal," said Dana Peterson, Chief Economist of The Conference Board. "Healing in labor markets may take longer, with greater potential for scarring among industries that are vulnerable to automation and digital transformation." 

While consumer sentiment was up overall around the globe, regional disparities persisted. 

About The Conference BoardThe Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what's ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org. 

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