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Aussie consumers the most positive of all nations

Australia has the highest consumer confidence of all developed nations, a new survey has found, with optimism increasing locally for the first time since July 2010.

Australia came out on top of the Nielson Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions Survey, which polled over 28,000 online customers in 56 countries worldwide late last year.

While consumer confidence fell in 60 percent of the 56 markets surveyed, it increased in Australia, indicating a positive result for the retail sector.

Despite global financial worries, 59 percent of Australians surveyed believe their personal finances will improve over the next year compared with 52 percent of those surveyed from other nations.

Nielson Pacific managing director Chris Percy said that although Australians are still quite cautious, consumer confidence has improved especially in regards to spending money on home improvements, decorating, and new technology.

“Reports of low retail spending are still concerning, but we hope, or the retailers will hope, that this increased consumer sentiment will begin to translate into better results for retailers as 2012 progresses, although we still predict a challenging year ahead for the retail sector,” Percy said.

This positive outlook continued in regards to employment opportunities and willingness to spend in 2012.

Here are the most optimistic nations, according to the Nielson survey:

Developed*
1. Australia
2. Norway
3. Canada

Developing*
1. India
2. Indonesia
3. Philippines

*Labelled as developed or developing according to categories on the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Report, April 2011.