Global: Consumers’ economic predictions for 2023
March 10th, 2023, Clifton Mark

Global: Consumers’ economic predictions for 2023

In 2022, inflation and the threat of recession led many consumers to cut their spending across sectors. Yet there have been signs from some markets that confidence is rebounding in 2023. What do global consumers foresee in the coming year? A recent YouGov survey polled 18 global markets about the likelihood of recession, of layoffs within their companies, and what kinds of economic actions they think they’ll have to take in the coming year.

The results show a mix of pessimism on the broader level (46% of respondents believe their country will go into or remain in recession) with optimism on the personal level (41% believe they’ll be able to save some of their salary). When we break down these aggregate numbers by region, however, interesting differences appear. Generally speaking, Europe and the US land on the opposite side of every question from UAE and APAC. Mexico and Canada vary depending on the question.

Will my country enter recession? Will my company have layoffs?

When asked whether they believe their country will enter recession in the next 12 months, nearly half of global respondents (46%) said that this was somewhat or very likely to happen. Canadians were the most pessimistic, with 56% predicting a recession, followed by Americans (51%) and Europeans (49%), half of whom see recession on the horizon. Respondents in the UAE and Mexico were most sanguine, with only 35% and 37% saying a recession is likely. APAC markets were relatively optimistic with only 40% saying a recession is likely. APAC (39%), UAE (55%) were also most optimistic that inflation would come under control in their countries.

On this question, Mexicans’ predictions (24% believe inflation will get under control) are more in line with Americans (20%) and Europeans (22%). All of these markets are less likely to think inflation can be controlled.

When it comes to the question of layoffs close to home, attitudes are reversed. A full third (33%) of UAE respondents and a quarter (26%) of APAC respondents believe the company they work for will start making people unemployed in the coming year. This is well-above the global average of 18%. European and American markets, by contrast, seem more optimistic with only 13% of Europeans and 14% of Americans and Canadians predicting layoffs at their company.

What economic actions will I need to take in the coming year? What will my personal economic position be?

The survey also asked what actions respondents think they will have to take in the next 12 months. On these questions, respondents in APAC and UAE think it’s more likely that they’ll need to take action by reducing spending and finding new sources of income. For example, 44% of UAE respondents and 28% of those in APAC say they’ll likely have to look for a cheaper place to live compared to only 13% of Europeans and 17% of Americans. Similarly, 58% of those in UAE and 55% of those in APAC believe they’ll need extra sources of income to maintain their standard of living compared to 31% of Europeans and 35% of Americans. Mexico and Canada fall in the middle on both of these metrics.

While APAC and UAE consumers see more need to take personal economic action, they also seem more optimistic about their economic prospects. They are far more likely to say that they’ll be able to save part of their salary than Europeans and Americans (55% and 56% vs 33% and 31%) as well as more likely to be in a position to make a big purchase, such as a house or car (42% and 30% vs 19% and 20%).

APAC and UAE feel the need for action but also feel more confident in their economic position

According to the polling data, consumers in the UAE and APAC markets are more likely to feel the need to take economic action by finding more sources of income and cutting costs than are their European and American counterparts. They’re also much more likely to see layoffs on the horizon in their own companies. However, this does not amount to an overall pessimism. These same markets are also less likely to predict a global recession and more likely to believe that they’ll be able to save part of their salary and make large purchases in the coming year. By contrast, Americans and Europeans are more likely to predict a recession and show less confidence in their ability to save or make big purchases. Yet they also do not feel the need to take actions such as saving or finding new sources of income.

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Methodology:YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 512 and 2,027 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in January 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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