Consumers Worldwide Intend to Save More, Spend Less
May 14, 2012
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Saving and Health are top priorities for consumers in the United States and Western Europe, while the importance of Luxury has fallen, according to a new global survey by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The survey, conducted in April 2012, covered more than 15,000 consumers in 16 countries. Key findings:

Consumers in Western Europe, as in the U.S., blame government for the crisis. 100% of Greek consumers blame the government. The share is in the 84%-to-94% range for France, Germany, the UK, Spain, and Switzerland, as well as the United States.

Feelings of financial insecurity remain high in the United States but this measure held steady from 2011 to 2012 - unlike the increases seen in some Western European countries. Several Western European countries have high levels and showed increases from 2011 to 2012 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK). These increases ranged from 4% to 14%.

Pessimism about the speed of economic recovery also remains high in the United States but, again, did not increase from 2011 to 2012. This measure of pessimism increased in some Western Europe countries: France, Germany, Spain, and the UK.

Concern over job security in the United States remains elevated, with 23% of respondents indicating they have some level of insecurity about their job. Several Western European countries - Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK - had higher levels of insecurity (up to 33%). France was at 22%, despite higher unemployment than in the U.S. (as did all the listed European countries expect Germany.

Top Values
Top values have changed in importance. In the United States, top values rising in importance from 2 years ago:
* health
* saving
* value for money

In the United States, top values falling rising in importance from 2 years ago:
* luxury
* status
* bright colors

The results were much the same in Western Europe - Germany, the UK, and France all listed Health and Value for money in their rising top values. All three listed Luxury and Religion as falling Top Values.

The results from China and Japan were similar. Both countries listed Health as a top value rising in importance, along with Home and Family in China, and Saving and Stability in Japan. Both countries listed Luxury as a top value falling in importance, along with Religion and Craftsmanship in China, and Professional Success and Status in Japan.

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