Consumer confidence is on the rebound as they start thinking beyond the recession, says a report from Nielsen.

According to the ‘Nielsen Consumer Confidence, Concerns and Spending’ report the global consumer confidence index increased nine points in the 3rd quarter.

In October 2009, 66% of global consumers said their economy is in recession compared to 77% in April.

Among Chinese, 87% said their nation is out of recession, while over 60% of citizens in Hong Kong, Norway and Australia said the same.

Meanwhile, half of Brazilians, Indians and Chileans also believed that the recession has ended. For many consumers in Asia Pacific and Latin America, the recession is becoming past tense.

Among consumers who say they are still in recession, one in five (26%) expect that their country will be out of recession within 12 months.

“The surge in consumer confidence signifies return to positive territory, showing that in the last six months, a majority of consumer sentiment across the globe has shifted gears from recession to recovery. In this economic climate, sentiment is closely correlated to actual sales,” said the report.

One key indicator of business confidence, explained the report, is the prevalence of increased Asia Pacific ad spending, which rebounded much faster than expected by many analysts, with a year-on-year increase of 9% and an estimated US$111.94 billion spent in the region during the second quarter.

The report also found that:

  • Global consumer confidence index rose from 77 in April to 86 points
  • Hong Kong (+14 points) South Korea (+13 points) and Brazil (+12 points) saw strongest growth in confidence
  • Consumer confidence fell in only two countries in the third quarter: Spain (-4 points) and Japan (-2 points)
  • The US posted first consumer confidence increase since 2007 (+4 points)
  • Biggest concerns are economy (18%), job security (14%), work/life balance (12%)
  • Spending still restrained but consumers opening up their wallets, and
  • 66% of consumers globally say their country is in a recession now, and 26% say they’ll be out of a recession within 12 months.