Is it good news? Is it bad news? International consultancy firm PwC has released its first ever Global Consumer Index, which, after deeming consumer spending to be slowing, states that “the slowdown may have eased in October. This may lead to a gradual recovery in 2013.”
For Romania’s exporting sector, low demand will mean a “challenging” 2013, according to PwC Romania Managing Consultant Partner Bogdan Belciu. He said that “cash and working capital management remain key for the rest of 2012 and Q1 2013.”
Briefly, the guts of the report show a reduction or in some cases a contraction in consumer spending around the world over summer 2012, particularly in Europe. However, some steadying and very modest returns to consumer index growth since September give some cause for hope.
The PwC report also measures what is termed as ‘momentum’- this is a hypothetical annual growth figure extrapolated from the preceding three months’ consumer spending indices. According to PwC, there is some good news here too, after momentum dropped into negative territory in August, following four consecutive monthly falls, in September and October it crept up, first to plus 0.2 percent, then 1.0 percent.
“The global economy has been losing steam over the last year. Much of Europe is either not growing or back in recession, the recovery in the United States has slowed, and concerns over a slowdown in emerging markets is rising,” said Richard Snook, senior economist at PwC and lead author of the report. He added that although figures show very low growth they do not suggest double dip recession in the global consumer cycle at this point.
Richard Snook goes on to predict gradual recovery in global consumer spending next year – if, and it is perhaps a ‘big if,’ there are “no major averse shocks from the eurozone or global commodity prices.”
Liam Lever, firstname.lastname@example.org