Singapore, 16 January 2017 – India tops the Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence (H2 2016) as the most optimistic market in Asia Pacific, with Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines and Bangladesh rounding off the top five. Overall, consumer confidence in Asia Pacific continues to hold steady, showing stability (within +/- 5 points from the last survey) in nine out of 17 markets. With an increase of 1.2 points in the overall score from H1 2016 to 60.9 points in H2 2016, Asia Pacific sits just above the 60 point optimistic mark. The Index and its accompanying reports should not be interpreted as indicators of Mastercard’s financial performance.

However, the overall stability masks some significant movements across five markets in the region compared to the previous six months. Hong Kong, Thailand and Bangladesh saw more than 10 point improvements, while Malaysia and Taiwan saw more than 10 point decreases.

Bangladesh recorded the largest gain of 11.2 points to 82.8 points – a significant improvement in overall consumer confidence compared to H1 2016 where it saw a relatively smaller increase of 4.2 points. Bangladesh’s increase in score was backed by an improvement in all components, the largest coming from heightened expectations in stock market movements (+24.6 points). Both Thailand and Hong Kong also saw a large improvement of 10.1 points, putting Thailand in optimistic territory and Hong Kong in neutral territory.

On the other hand, eight of the 17 markets saw a deterioration in confidence levels compared to H1 2016. The biggest decline in optimism levels was observed in Taiwan, followed by Malaysia, and Myanmar. According to the survey, prospects for the stock market[1] was the key driver of the decline.

Between November and December 2016, 8,723 respondents, aged 18 to 64 in 17 Asia Pacific markets, were asked to give a six-month outlook on five economic factors including the economy, employment prospects, regular income prospects, the stock market and their 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.

Key APAC findings

  • Overall consumer confidence in Asia Pacific remains stable with a slight improvement of 1.2 points to 60.9 in H2 2016 from 59.7 points in H1 2016, bringing the overall score from neutral to optimistic territory. The number of markets below the 50 neutral line remain the same (eight of the 17 markets) as the last survey.
  • Bangladesh, which experienced a small improvement in consumer confidence in the previous survey, recorded the largest improvement among the 17 Asia Pacific markets in this survey with increases across all five components and a more than 10 points gain in outlook on Stock Market (+24.6), Quality of Life (+12.0) and Economy (+11.7). Thailand and Hong Kong also saw significant improvements of at least 10 points.
  • India (95.3), Myanmar (92.8), Vietnam (92.3) and Philippines (91.6) remain extremely optimistic in their outlook.
  • Declines were recorded in eight out of 17 Asia Pacific markets, with significant deterioration seen in Taiwan (-11.1) and Malaysia (-10.2). The decreases recorded in Taiwan and Malaysia moved these markets from neutral into pessimistic territory.

Country-level detail

  • India (95.3) remains in extremely optimistic territory, with a slight decline of 2.4 points overall, due to small decreases in all five components, while Thailand (68.3) halted its two year slide recording a 10.1 points improvement with increases across all five components and a more than 10 points gain in outlook on the Economy (+11.2), Employment (+11.1) and Quality of Life (+14.3).
  • Taiwan (34.2, -11.1) showed the largest deterioration in confidence levels of all 17 markets surveyed. While all five components saw declines, Stock Market (-18.3) and Quality of Life (-14.9) registered particularly large drops.
  • Malaysia saw a significant decline from six months ago, with a decrease of 10.2 points to 31.2, dropping to the second lowest ranked in the region. All five components declined, with outlook on Stock Market (-13.1) contributing the most to the drop.
  • Singapore saw a drop of 3.6 points to 30.0. Three of the components fell by more than 5 points: Regular Income (-6.5), Economy (-6.1), and Employment (-5.2).
  • Korea (31.2, -3.0) moves further into sub-50 territory, driven downwards by an 8.7 points decline in confidence in outlook of the local Stock Market (28.1), while the outlook in China (80.8, +4.8) continues to increase since H2 2015 due to improvement across all five components, with Stock Market (+9.1) contributing the most to the increase.
  • Australia (46.5) remains in neutral territory, recording an increase of 4.2 points with improvements across all five components, while New Zealand (62.2, +6.8) recorded an improvement from neutral to optimistic territory since the previous survey with a more than 10 points gain in outlook on the Economy (+12.7), Employment (+11.4) and Quality of Life (+10.3).
  • Vietnam (92.3, -2.5) and Myanmar (92.8, -7.0) remain in extremely optimistic territory, despite a decrease in overall confidence, both led by a significant decrease in the Stock Market component (Property Market for Myanmar which does not have a stock market).
  • Consumer confidence in Hong Kong (42.2), Japan (43.0) and Sri Lanka (40.1), all previously in the pessimistic territory, posted increases of 10.1 points, 5.0 points and 2.1 points respectively, which shifted all three markets from pessimistic to neutral territory.

Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence Data – H2 2016

H2 2016 Current Status Change from last half (H1 2016)
Asia Pacific 60.9 Optimistic 1.2 Stable +
Australia 46.5 Neutral – 4.2 Stable +
China 80.8 Very Optimistic 4.8 Stable +
Hong Kong 42.2 Neutral – 10.1 Significant Improvement
India 95.3 Extremely Optimistic -2.4 Stable –
Indonesia 70.8 Optimistic 9.0 Some Improvement
Japan 43.0 Neutral – 5.0 Stable +
Korea 31.2 Pessimistic -3.0 Stable –
Malaysia 31.2 Pessimistic -10.2 Significant Deterioration
New Zealand 62.2 Optimistic 6.8 Some Improvement
Philippines 91.6 Extremely Optimistic -3.6 Stable –
Singapore 30.0 Pessimistic -3.6 Stable –
Taiwan 34.2 Pessimistic -11.1 Significant Deterioration
Thailand 68.3 Optimistic 10.1 Significant Improvement
Vietnam 92.3 Extremely Optimistic -2.5 Stable –
Myanmar 92.8 Extremely Optimistic -7.0 Some Deterioration
Bangladesh 82.8 Very Optimistic 11.2 Significant Improvement
Sri Lanka 40.1 Neutral – 2.1 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 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 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

[1] Property market for Myanmar which does not have a stock market