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COVID-19's blow to consumer confidence is universal but recovery will vary by region

The COVID-19 crisis has driven down consumer confidence around the world. But three critical dimensions of the crisis will shape confidence in the months ahead: (1) increases in new cases and deaths due to the virus; (2) the impact on jobs and household incomes; and (3) government policy to mitigate its effects.

Experts at The Conference Board scored 21 countries along these three dimensions to determine how fast consumer confidence would rebound.

China and South Korea, countries well past the first wave of cases, successfully implemented strict containment policies and have begun to open up their economies again; confidence there will likely rebound fairly quickly. Elsewhere in Asia, Indonesia and India struggle to provide an effective policy response and may recover more slowly, though cases have been limited so far.

In Europe, there’s great diversity in the policy response: Germany’s proactive containment measures, among the most robust in Europe, may support a swift recovery. But in the UK, a delayed policy response may result in greater job and income losses, leading to a longer period of low confidence.

In the Gulf region and Canada, and to some extent in the US and Mexico, the decline in oil prices adds to the pressure on consumer confidence. The speed and dynamics of the recovery in consumer confidence will vary, so companies should carefully monitor consumer behavior by region and adapt.

For detailed analysis for economies around the world, please see The Conference Board report on Global Consumer Confidence

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Our Experts

Thought leaders who provide trusted insights for navigating companies and the economy though COVID-19.


Bart van Ark

Senior Advisor


Lynn Franco

Director, Economic Indicators and Surveys


Ataman Ozyildirim, PhD

Director, Economic Research, and Global Research Chair


Matteo Tonello

Managing Director, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)


Gad Levanon, PhD

Vice President, Labor Markets


David Hoffman

Senior Vice President Asia and Managing Director of the China Center for Economics & Business

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Rebecca L. Ray, PhD

Executive Vice President, Human Capital

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Anke Schrader

Research Director, the China Center for Economics and Business


Amy Lui Abel, PhD

Vice President, Human Capital Research


Thomas Singer

Principal Researcher


Dr. Uwe G. Schulte

Leader, Global Sustainability Centre and Program Director


Paul Washington

Executive Director, ESG Center


Ilaria Maselli

Senior Economist


Amanda Popiela

Researcher, Human Capital


Elizabeth Crofoot

Senior Economist, Labor Markets


John Forsyth

Leader of the Consumer Dynamics Institute


Cindy Cisneros

Vice President of Education Programs

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Steve Odland

President and CEO


Jeff Hoffman

Institute Leader, Corporate Citizenship & Philanthropy, ESG Center


Joseph J. Minarik

Senior Vice President and Director of Research


Erik Lundh

Senior Economist


Robin Erickson, PhD

Principal Researcher


JP Kuehlwein

Marketing Institute Leader


Denise Dahlhoff, PhD

Senior Researcher, Consumer Research

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Laura Sabattini, PhD

Principal Researcher, Human Capital

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Robert Schwarz

Senior Researcher, ESG Center


Chiqui Cartagena

Chief Marketing Officer & Center Leader, Marketing & Communications

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Dr. Mahdy Al Jazzaf

Executive Director


Devin O’Connor

Deputy Director, Economic Research