Confidence in 3Q14 was up in 39 of 60 countries measured by Nielsen, compared with 31 countries in the second quarter. Overall, Nielsen's index moved up by one index point to a score of 98, up two points from the start of the year.
The Consumer Confidence Index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances, and immediate spending intentions via a global online survey. Levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.
Regionally, consumer confidence in North America improved the most, rising four points to 107—a score that matches Asia-Pacific for the first time since the index began in 2005.
Confidence in the United States increased four points for the second consecutive quarter to reach a score of 108 in the third quarter. The rise continued an upward trend that started in the first quarter of 2013.
Confidence also increased in Canada, rising one point from the previous quarter to an index level of 103.
In the US, all consumer confidence indicators measured in the survey increased in the third quarter: Job prospect confidence was up 9 percentage points from the second quarter to 55%, personal finance confidence increased 2 percentage points to 66%, and the portion of respondents who believe now is a good time to buy increased 2 percentage points to 51%.
Consumer confidence increased by one index point in the Asia-Pacific region (to 107), three points in the Middle East/Africa (96), one point in Latin America (91), and one point in Europe (78) from the previous quarter.
To see in-depth country-by-country data, check out Nielsen's interactive trend tracker.
About the research: The Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances, and immediate spending intentions via an ongoing global online survey of consumers in 60 countries.