Vietnam’s confidence index has dipped five points to 98 points, below the Asia Pacific average of 106 but higher than the global average of 92 points, according to the Nielsen Global Online Survey released on Monday.
The confidence index, with a baseline of 100, measures consumers’ optimism for the job market, their personal finances and readiness to spend.
The survey was conducted between March 23 and April 12, 2011 by polling more than 28,000 consumers in 51 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America.
According to the survey, which is based on answers from people with online access, 61 percent of Vietnamese believe their economy is in a recession, an increase of 5 percent compared to Quarter 4 last year.
Vietnamese people continue to be ‘cautiously optimistic’ as 60 percent of them believe job prospects are good-to-excellent over the coming 12 months.
Despite the overall positive outlook on jobs, only 56 percent of Vietnamese consumers believe their personal finances are good-to-excellent over the next 12 months, a drop of 6 percent compared to the fourth quarter of last year.
After paying for essential living expenses, 67 percent said that they would put their money into savings, followed by holidays/vacations (39 percent), new clothes (36 percent), new technological products (36 percent), home improvement (36 percent) and out-of-home entertainment (32 percent).
The dim vision, however, is widespread among respondents worldwide.
Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of The Nielsen Company, said in a statement that more than half (55 percent) of global online consumers say they are currently in a recession, and of these, 51 percent expect to be in a recession for at least another year.
Regional differences prevail, with 37 percent of Asian Pacific consumers saying they are in a recession on Monday compared with 82 percent of North Americans and 68 percent of Europeans.
Seven out of the top ten optimistic countries are from the Asia Pacific, while European markets make up nine out of the top ten most pessimistic nations.
India remains the most optimistic country in the first quarter (131 index points) followed by Saudi Arabia (118) and Indonesia (116).
Also in the survey, concerns over rising fuel prices rise to 18 percent this quarter, up from only 4 percent three months ago.
Rising fuel and food prices are taking a toll on consumers around the world as more and more households are spending a higher proportion of their limited income on these necessities.