Singapore, 16 August 2017 – Across Asia Pacific, overall consumer confidence stays buoyed in optimistic territory at 66.9 points, a slight improvement from 62.7 points six months ago, according to the Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence released today. The 4.2 point increase in confidence was driven mainly by a bullish outlook on the Stock Market (+7.3) and Employment (+5.1). Consumer sentiment remains stable in 11 out of the 18 Asia Pacific markets (within +/- 5 points from the last survey). The Index and its accompanying reports should not be interpreted as indicators of Mastercard’s financial performance.

Boosted by heightened expectations in its economic performance, South Korea has recorded the largest improvement in consumer confidence in Asia Pacific. Optimism in South Korea at its highest level since 1995, and the market’s meteoric leap in sentiment has propelled it from pessimistic territory to very optimistic territory over the last six months. Likewise, Singapore and Malaysia also saw significant leaps in confidence.

Meanwhile, India continues to stay in very optimistic territory at 86.0 points, despite posting the region’s largest decline of 9.3 points. Consumer sentiment also saw a slight deterioration of 6 points in Myanmar. According to the Index, pessimism towards Quality of Life was the key driver of decline for both India and Myanmar.

Between April and June 2017, 9153 respondents, aged 18 to 64 in 18 Asia Pacific markets, were asked to give a six-month outlook on five economic factors, namely, the Economy, Employment prospects, Regular Income prospects, Stock Market and Quality of Life. The Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as the most optimistic and between 40 and 60 as neutral.

Additional country-level detail

  • Cambodia (93.1) leads the region as the most optimistic market, with Vietnam (90.8), Bangladesh (89.4), Philippines (88.8), and China (88.2) rounding off the top five.
  • South Korea (78.0), which experienced a small improvement in consumer confidence in the previous survey, recorded the largest increase in the region compared to the last survey six months ago with significant improvement across all five components – Employment (+47.2), Economy (+59.0), Regular Income (+24.0), Stock Market (+54.2) and Quality of Life (+49.4).
  • Singapore (45.4, +15.4) and Malaysia (42.3, +11.1) moved from pessimistic into neutral territory, with significant improvements of more than 10 points. Both markets saw more than 15 point improvements in the Stock Market component.
  • China (88.2, +7.4) and Bangladesh (89.4, +6.6) moved further into very optimistic territory, with some improvement in all five components, particularly Employment (+12.1) for China and Stock Market (+15.0) for Bangladesh.
  • India (86.0, -9.3) has shown the largest deterioration in confidence levels in the region, but still remains in very optimistic territory. While all five components saw declines, consumer outlook on the Economy (-11.0) and Quality of Life (-11.6) registered particularly large drops.
  • Indonesia stays in optimistic territory, with an increase of 4.0 points to 74.8 points driven by a large bump (+16.8) in the Employment component.
  • Philippines (88.8, -2.7) and Myanmar (86.8, -6.0) saw a slight deterioration in confidence levels, but remain in very optimistic territory.
  • Thailand (63.9, -4.4) and New Zealand (60.5, -1.7) remain in optimistic territory, despite observing declines in all of the components, barring Regular Income.
  • Australia (49.2, +2.7), Hong Kong (47.0, +4.8) and Japan (44.4, +1.4) posted slight increases, remaining in neutral territory. Hong Kong and Japan observed slight deterioration in the Regular Income component (-5.8 and -8.9, respectively), while Australia recorded an increase in all five components.
  • Taiwan (38.3, +4.1) and Sri Lanka, (38.2, -2.0), the lowest ranked in the region, saw slight movements in overall consumer confidence, remaining in pessimistic territory.

Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence Data – H1 2017

H1 2017 Current Status Change from last half
Asia Pacific 66.9 Optimistic 4.2 Stable +
Korea 78.0 Very Optimistic 46.7 Extreme Improvement
Singapore 45.4 Neutral – 15.4 Significant Improvement
Malaysia 42.3 Neutral – 11.1 Significant Improvement
China 88.2 Very Optimistic 7.4 Some Improvement
Bangladesh 89.4 Very Optimistic 6.6 Some Improvement
Hong Kong 47.0 Neutral – 4.8 Stable +
Taiwan 38.3 Pessimistic 4.1 Stable +
Indonesia 74.8 Optimistic 4.0 Stable +
Australia 49.2 Neutral – 2.7 Stable +
Japan 44.4 Neutral – 1.4 Stable +
Cambodia 93.1 Extremely Optimistic -0.7 Stable –
Vietnam 90.8 Extremely Optimistic -1.5 Stable –
New Zealand 60.5 Optimistic -1.7 Stable –
Sri Lanka 38.2 Pessimistic -2.0 Stable –
Philippines 88.8 Very Optimistic -2.7 Stable –
Thailand 63.9 Optimistic -4.4 Stable –
Myanmar 86.8 Very Optimistic -6.0 Some Deterioration
India 86.0 Very Optimistic -9.3 Some Deterioration

 

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 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 an over 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. 18 Asia Pacific markets now participate in the survey: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, 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 Advancement, Mastercard 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 Shopping, Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money 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.

Contacts

Georgette Tan, Mastercard, georgette.tan@mastercard.com, +65 6390 5971

Samantha Yong, Weber Shandwick, samyong@webershandwick.com, +65 6825 8053