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Singapore, 8 May 2017 – While youthful optimism in the ASEAN region is buoying consumer confidence, sentiment amongst older consumers is significantly more reserved, according to the latest Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence. Revealed today ahead of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, the Index shows that the region’s millennials (aged 18 to 29 years) are very optimistic about the next six months (75.0 points), while members of Generation X, aged 30 and above, track a lower score (69.5 points).

However, the region’s overall confidence masks deeper discrepancies between the various markets. In WEF ASEAN’s host country, Cambodia, consumers aged below 30 (95.4 points) are the most optimistic overall, while Malaysia’s below 30s demographic (42.6 points) are the most pessimistic. Additionally, Cambodia’s above 30s group ties with Myanmar’s (92.0 points) for most optimistic, while people above 30 in Singapore show the least amount of confidence (22.7 points).

Nevertheless, optimism over the next six months indicates stable growth across all markets. Consumer confidence amongst people aged below 30 has grown by 1.5 points, while people above 30 have tracked a 2.2 point increase[i] when compared to the first half of 2016.

These uplifts are largely concentrated amongst the older demographic in ASEAN’s emerging economies. Thailand’s above 30s population tracks the largest leap of 10.7 points to 70.1 points, moving from neutral territory into optimistic territory, while Thai consumers below 30 see a slightly more tempered step up 8.6 points to 63.2 points. The only other market to track sentiment uplifts across both demographics is Indonesia – below 30s track a 7.1 point jump in optimism, while the older generation track a 9.9 point jump.

Furthermore, ASEAN consumers across all age groups are most optimistic when it comes to regular income (87.7 points, 77.5 points), employment (74.7 points, 70.5 points) and quality of life (62.3 points, 60.0 points). Both age groups also veer towards a neutral outlook when asked about the economy and stock market.

The Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence and its accompanying reports should not be interpreted as indicators of Mastercard’s financial performance.

Key Findings

  • According to findings from the Index, consumer confidence falls in correlation with an economy’s development. Cambodia’s consumers below 30 (95.4 points) are the most optimistic, followed by Myanmar’s below 30s population (94.0 points) and Vietnam’s (93.2 points). Conversely, consumers above 30 in Singapore (22.7 points) are the most pessimistic, along with Malaysia’s above-30s demographic (26.2 points) and under-30s group (42.6 points).
  • Age-related sentiment towards the future varies most strongly across ASEAN’s more developed markets. The greatest disparities in optimism between people aged below 30 and above 30 are felt most keenly across Indonesia (73.3 points vs. 69.4 points), Singapore (47.3 points vs. 22.7 points) and Malaysia (42.6 points vs. 26.2 points).
  • Although Philippines (91.2 points vs. 91.7 points) and Thailand (70.1 points vs. 63.2 points) are the only markets where confidence amongst the above-30s demographic exceed that of the below-30s’, Thailand is the only market to shift from a neutral outlook into a positive one.
  • Declines are recorded in the below 30s demographic across five out of eight ASEAN markets, with stable movements across Philippines (-3.7 points), Singapore (-1.2 points) and Vietnam (-3.4 points). Some deterioration is seen in Myanmar (-5.5 points), while significant deterioration is tracked in Malaysia (-10.3).
  • While all ASEAN markets are most optimistic about regular income (87.7 points vs. 77.5 points), the Index also tracks the greatest disparity in sentiment amongst the age groups (10 points). Conversely, all age-groups are least confident about the stock market, with little disparity between sentiments (2.3 points).

-ENDS-

Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence Data – H2 2016

Market Below-30s Above-30s
Score Sentiment Movement Status Score Sentiment Movement Status
Cambodia 95.4 Extremely Optimistic N/A N/A 92.0 Extremely Optimistic N/A N/A
Indonesia 73.3 Optimistic +7.1 Some improvement 69.4 Optimistic +9.9 Some improvement
Malaysia 42.6 Neutral – -10.1 Some deterioration 26.2 Pessimistic -10.3 Some deterioration
Myanmar 94.0 Extremely Optimistic -5.5 Some deterioration 92.0 Extremely Optimistic -7.9 Some deterioration
Philippines 91.2 Extremely Optimistic -3.7 Stable- 91.7 Extremely Optimistic -3.6 Stable-
Singapore 47.3 Neutral – -1.2 Stable- 22.7 Very Pessimistic -4.4 Stable-
Thailand 63.2 Optimistic +8.6 Some improvement 70.1 Optimistic +10.7 Significant improvement
Vietnam 93.2 Extremely Optimistic -3.4 Stable- 91.9 Extremely Optimistic -1.4 Stable +

 

Index Score Current Status Change in Index Points from last half
Lower Range Upper Range Qualitative  Statement Lower Range Upper Range Qualitative  Statement
0 10 Extremely Pessimistic -100 -20 Extreme Deterioration
10 25 Very Pessimistic -20 -10 Significant Deterioration
25 40 Pessimistic -10 -5 Some Deterioration
40 50 Neutral – -5 0 Stable –
50 60 Neutral + 0 5 Stable +
60 75 Optimistic 5 10 Some Improvement
75 90 Very Optimistic 10 20 Significant Improvement
90 100 Extremely Optimistic 20 100 Extreme Improvement


Methodology 

Respondents across 17 markets were asked five questions pertaining to their six-month outlook on the economy, their employment prospects, the local stock market, their regular income prospects, and their quality of life. The results of their responses were converted in five component indexes which were subsequently averaged to form the Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence (MICC) score. The MICC Index score and the 5 component index scores range from 0 – 100 where 0 represents maximum pessimism, 100 represents maximum optimism and 50 represents neutrality.

About the Mastercard Index™ of Consumer Confidence
The Mastercard Index™ of Consumer Confidence survey has a 20-year track record of consumer confidence indices collected from over 200,000 interviews, unequalled both in scope and history across Asia Pacific.

It is the most comprehensive and longest running survey of its kind in the region.  In June 1997, the Index revealed a decline in consumer confidence – one month prior to the devaluation of the Thai baht that triggered the regional economic crisis. In June 2003, the Index score for Employment in Hong Kong dropped to a low score of 20.0. This was subsequently reflected in Hong Kong’s unemployment rate, which peaked just before September 2003 at eight percent.

The survey began in the first half of 1993 and has been conducted twice yearly since. Seventeen Asia Pacific markets now participate in the survey: Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Mastercard and its Suite of Research Properties
The Mastercard Index suite in Asia Pacific includes the long-running Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the Mastercard Index of Women’s AdvancementMastercard Index of Financial Literacy, and the Mastercard Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the indices, Mastercard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Online ShoppingEthical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering TravelDining & EntertainmentEducationMoney Management, Luxury and General Shopping).

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.Mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP and @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Mastercard communications contact:
Georgette Tan, +65 6390 5971
georgette.tan@mastercard.com
Marissa Tree, +65 9117 4810
mtree@webershandwick.com

[i] Compared to H1 2016