Myanmar, Indonesia top MasterCard’s Consumer Confidence Index; Bangladesh records largest improvement; Australia rounds out region as the least optimistic  

TWEET: #ConsumerConfidence across #AsiaPacific has reached its highest level in more than 10 yrs: #MasterCard Index http://mstr.cd/1qn2Slk

Singapore, 15 October 2014–Consumers in Asia Pacific largely remain optimistic on their economic outlook despite continued uncertainty in the global economy with the exception of Australia, according to the MasterCard Index™ of Consumer Confidence, released today.

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. The Index is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.

MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence 3Q 2014Key Takeaways (Overall)

  • Collectively, theAsia Pacific markets are optimistic – recording the highest consumer confidence score in more than 10 years. The region is up 6.9 Index points to 68.3 Index points in H1 2014 from 61.5 Index points in H2 2013.
  • Compared to 6 months ago, twelve 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).

(click for an enlarged version)

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 theAsia 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.

“Consumer confidence across the Asia Pacific region has reached its highest level in more than 10 years. 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,” said Pierre Burret, Head of Delivery, Quality & Resource Management for Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard Advisors.

“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.

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.

###

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 a 20-year track record of consumer confidence indices collected from over 200,000 interviews, unequalled both in scope and history across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

The MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence 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 comprising the Asia Pacific markets began in the first half of 1993 and has been conducted twice yearly since. Markets from the Middle East and Africa were included in the Index from 2004. Twenty seven markets now participate in the survey: Australia, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

The Index is calculated based with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.  Five economic factors are measured: Employment, the Economy, Regular Income, Stock Market and Quality of Life. The responses are consumers’ thoughts on the six months ahead. Data collection was via internet surveys and face to face interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.  The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four to five percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties

The MasterCard Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the long-running MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement, MasterCard Survey on Online Shopping, 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 Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports providing analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 80 Insights reports have been produced since 2004. MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard and published by John Wiley & Sons.

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 @MasterCardAPand @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers 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