Hungarians have the lowest consumer confidence in the world, even lower than Greece. A Nielsen survey showed that not a single European country believes in a bright future, with Norway being the least pessimistic. Belgium holds the 40th place of 56 countries worldwide.
Pessimism in Europe
A small rise (30 to 32) can not lift the Hungarians from the last place: crisis-struck Greece 'only' drops to 37, while Portugal completes Europe's bottom-three at 39. The consumer confidence in these three countries is nearly half the average in Europe, which is already the lowest of all the regions with 72 out of a possible 200 – with everything under 100 considered “pessimistic”.
Norway reaches the highest European score (99), but just fails to clear the midway-threshold. Denmark (95) and Germany (90) still have some faith in the European future, but other major countries like the United Kingdom (77), Spain (53), France (50) and Italy (45) think we have a very bleak future in front of us.
... and optimism in Asia
The worldwide average climbed 5 points to reach 94, the highest in five years. Asia/Pacific is the most (and actually, the only) optimistic region in the world with a score of 103. The five leading nations are all in this area, with India (123), Saudi-Arabia (119), Indonesia (118), Philippines (118) and China (110).
“While global economic conditions are more stable than in the depths of the European sovereign debt crisis late last year, underlying economic conditions are still fragile and fluid in many parts of the world, which could affect consumer confidence and spending momentum for the coming quarter”, as dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, explains.
United States v. Korea
The United States and Asia are more optimistic as labouring circumstances improve: consumer confidence in the former rises 9 points (to 92) to reach its highest peak since the recession started, while the latter has the fastest rising country with Taiwan (+13 to 84).
Most of the really low scores are European, with two important exceptions: both South Korea (49) and Japan (58) are miles away from the other non-European countries – the third lowest score being South Africa at 80).
No euphoria in Hungary
Quite remarkably, the Hungarians were still near the worldwide average of then 98 at the list's first edition in 2005. As the euphoria of the European unification slowly disappeared, consumer confidence in the land of the Magyars decreased three time faster than elsewhere.
In the last survey, 76% of Hungarians are pessimistic when it comes to employment in their country, while only 3% was optimistic. The rest had no opinion or refused to answer – not one person admitted to believe in an “excellent” future. Not a good message for Hungarian politics and economy, as such figures can easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy...
The most important countries
|9.|| United Arab Emirates