Consumers Around The Word Are Feeling Economic Strain, According To Results Of The IRIS Network’s Recent Global Study

The results of the 2019 IRIS Global Confidence Survey conducted across 23 countries among 12,436 participants indicate that consumers around the world are exhibiting signs of economic stress. The full results of this study can be viewed at — a microsite developed in partnership with Environics Research.

These results highlight the impact of economic headlines on consumer confidence, with more than half of global citizens agreeing that current economic conditions are the worst they have seen in their lifetime. While global confidence varies from region to region, consumers around the globe are feeling pressure.

“Economic news and events in the world are creating a high degree of public uncertainty about broader economic conditions, and this is impacting consumer confidence – primarily in relation to discretionary items, but also to some extent in essential categories,” says Tony Coulson, VP of Corporate and Public Affairs at Environics Research. “Many around the world are not feeling that their government is doing enough on the economy and appear to favour positive interventions on job creation and/or poverty reduction.”


Key findings from this global study include:

  • Almost half of households are having a harder time making ends meet compared to a year ago, and similar proportions are concerned about a potential job loss.
  • These concerns are leading to widespread reductions in spending on discretionary items such as clothing, restaurants and charitable giving, as well as to cuts in spending on essentials such as food, shelter and, in some cases, needed medicines.
  • Four in ten feel that the economy of their country is currently in a recession, and more than half view the current economic conditions as the worst in their lifetime.
  • Consumers are more likely to see the economy of their country getting weaker than see it getting stronger, and substantial majorities believe their national government is not doing enough.
  • Looking forward, more than seven in ten across the surveyed publics say creating more jobs, and reducing poverty and homelessness are top priorities for their country. While somewhat fewer prioritize environmental protection, many recognize that environmental protection can boost economic growth and provide jobs.
About the study

The 2019 IRIS Global Confidence Survey asked a series of questions designed to assess general economic confidence of 12,436 consumers from 23 countries around the world. Online interviews were conducted from May 24 to June 17, 2019. The questionnaire was translated into seven different languages.

To ensure that data were representative of each country’s composition, weights were applied. The survey data were weighted within each country by both age and gender. Weights were calculated using the most recent information and statistics available from The World Factbook (an Internet-based data publication launched by the CIA, Central Intelligence Agency).

View the study results

About the IRIS Network

The IRIS Network is one of the world’s largest networks of independently-owned research institutes. With 37 offices around the world, the network enables researchers to perform better global research into international markets, and their consumers, businesses and societies.

Learn more about IRIS


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