Myanmar and Indonesia top MasterCard’s Consumer Confidence Index
Outlook on economy, employment and regular income prospects, quality of life
CONSUMERS in Asia Pacific, with the exception of Australia, largely remain optimistic on their economic outlook despite continued uncertainty in the global economy, according to the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence released recently.
Respondents were asked to give a six-month outlook on five economic factors including the economy, employment prospects, regular income prospects, and their quality of life, MasterCard said in a statement.
The Index is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.
“Consumer confidence across the Asia Pacific region has reached its highest level in more than 10 years,” said Pierre Burret, head of Delivery, Quality & Resource Management for Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard Advisors.
“Markets like Bangladesh and Taiwan are showing strong increases in consumer sentiment, bolstered by key influences such as a perception of better employment prospects and of an improving economy.
“The region’s overall optimism for the future is an encouraging sign, and demonstrates the importance of continuing to innovate with partners in emerging markets like Myanmar, India and Indonesia, in efforts to drive economic growth,” he added.
Key takeaways (overall)
Collectively, the Asia Pacific markets are optimistic, recording the highest consumer confidence score in more than 10 years, MasterCard said. The region is up 6.9 Index points to 68.3 Index points in the first half of 2014 (H1 2014) from 61.5 Index points in H2 2013.
Compared to six months ago, 12 out of the 16 Asia Pacific markets surveyed recorded both positive sentiment and experienced either some or significant improvement in consumer confidence. Four markets moved above the 50-point neutral mark in this survey, leaving only Australia and South Korea as the only markets out of the 16 to remain below the 50-point neutral mark.
Asia Pacific markets showed increases in each of the key economic indicators: Economy (67.1 Index points in H1 2014 from 59.3 Index points in H2 2013); employment (69.2 from 62.2 Index points); regular income prospect (77.5 from 72.1 Index points); stock market (65.7 from 57.4 Index points); and quality of life (62.2 from 56.3 Index points).
Key takeaways (by country)
Bangladesh recorded the biggest uptick in consumer confidence, jumping a whopping 25.9 points (from 40.5 Index points in H2 2013 to 66.4 Index points in H1 2014).
Taiwan’s consumer confidence also grew by a large percentage, up 24.6 points (from 33.0 Index points in H2 2013 to 57.6 Index points in H1 2014).
Other significant, double-digit improvements in consumer confidence were recorded by Thailand up 14.6 Index points (from 72.0 Index points in H2 2013 to 86.6 Index points in H1 2014); Singapore up 13.2 Index points (from 47.4 Index points in H2 2013 to 60.6 Index points in H1 2014); Indonesia up 11.3 Index points (from 82.8 Index points in H2 2013 to 94.0 Index points in H1 2014); and New Zealand up 10.8 Index points (from 55.0 Index points in H2 2013 to 65.8 Index points in H1 2014).
Myanmar, Indonesia and India recorded the Asia Pacific region’s highest consumer confidence scores, with 94.1 Index points, 94.0 Index points and 89.1 Index points, respectively.
Meanwhile, Australia recorded the largest dip in consumer confidence, down 12 Index points to 37.2 Index points in H1 2014 from 49.2 in H2 2013.
The Index is based on a survey conducted between July 2014 and August 2014 on 12,574 respondents aged 18-64 in 27 countries across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. This is the 43rd survey of Consumer Confidence conducted since 1993.
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