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Nielsen: North American consumer confidence up in Q3


New York-- Consumer confidence in the North America region improved four points to 107 on the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index for the third quarter of 2014. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively, with the latest results reflecting an outlook of cautious optimism.

North American perceptions about employment opportunities rose to 55% from 46% in the third quarter of 2013. However, negative developments in the North American middle class may pose problems for retailers in the future.

"A longer-term trend has been the divergence between the economic fortunes of the middle class in developed markets compared to those in emerging markets,” said Dr. Louise Keely, senior VP, Nielsen. “In the U.S. and Western Europe, the middle has been structurally weakened while the low-wage sector has grown. By contrast, the middle class grew strongly in emerging markets during the previous decade, and while recently that trend has slowed, it can still be expected to continue. Going forward, these disparities within and across countries can be expected to have a large impact on the overall level and patterns in discretionary spending."
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