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Singapore, 14 December 2017 – Consumer confidence in Asia Pacific bubbles with youthful optimism, according to findings from the Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence (H2 2017). The Index indicates that the region’s millennials (aged 18 – 29 years) are very confident about the next six months (72.9 points), while the older generation (aged 30 and above) are tempered in their outlook towards the future (66.7 points).

Rising economic growth, a soaring travel industry and greater intra-regional economic cooperation in Asia Pacific are fueling the region’s overall confidence at 68.5 points. Since the latter half of 2016, optimism across both age groups has risen; consumers aged above 30 tracked a 6.3 point jump in optimism, while people aged below 30 tracked a 5.0 point lift. These lifts are reflected across buoyant consumer sentiment towards the stock market, employment and economic performance. In particular, stock market optimism tracked a +10.2 point growth amongst people aged under 30 years.

Regardless of age group, the Index found that emerging economies such as Philippines (94.5 points), China (92.2 points), Cambodia (92.2 points) and Myanmar (91.7 points) recorded the highest levels of optimism. This is in sharp contrast to more developed markets like Taiwan (44.2 points) Malaysia (45.9 points) and Japan (51.0 points), where both age groups were more pessimistic. High levels of optimism in emerging markets can be attributed to infrastructure investments which are seen to drive more opportunities for jobs and upward social mobility.

Between October and November 2017, 9141 respondents, aged 18 to 64 across eighteen Asia Pacific markets, were asked to give a six-month outlook on five economic factors: 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 a score of 40 – 60 as neutral. The Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence and its accompanying reports should not be interpreted as indicators of Mastercard’s financial performance.

 Detailed market-level findings 

  • Asia Pacific’s overall confidence conceals notable variances between its markets. Philippines (94.5 points) which tops the Index as the region’s most optimistic market, experienced some improvement across three components over the last six months – the Stock Market (+11.3 points), Income (+5.3 points) and Quality of Life (+4.4 points).
  • Conversely, the Index reveals Sri Lanka (39.5 points) as its least optimistic market, with declines in confidence towards Quality of Life (-4.0 points) and the Economy (-3.2 points).
  • Buoyed by growth in retail spending and inbound tourism over the last six months, Hong Kong’s under 30 population (+21.8 points) tracked the largest improvement in consumer confidence. The market’s dramatic leap boosted it from pessimistic to optimistic territory, tracking significant improvement across all five components – Employment (+32.5 points), Economy (+23.3 points), Stock Market (+19.3), Regular Income (+18.9 points) and Quality of Life (+15.2 points).
  • Geopolitical tensions in South Korea contributed to its significant deterioration in consumer confidence in both its under 30 (-28.3 points) and above 30 demographics (-18.4 points). South Korea experienced the greatest decline on the Index, dropping two ranks from very optimistic to neutral territory. The only other market to track declines across both demographics is Bangladesh (-8.1 points, -9.5 points).
  • Growths are recorded in the below 30s demographic across eleven out of eighteen Asia Pacific markets, with stable movements in Australia (+4.8 points), Myanmar (+4.4 points) and Thailand (+2.1 points). Some improvement is seen in Philippines (+6.9 points), Taiwan (+8.6 points), Malaysia (+6.2 points) and Singapore (+5.3 points) while significant improvement is tracked in New Zealand (15.1 points).
  • Declines are tracked in the above 30s demographic in only four out of eighteen Asia Pacific markets, with stable movements across Indonesia (-3.1 points), Cambodia (-1.9 points). Some deterioration is seen in Bangladesh (-9.5 points), while significant deterioration is tracked in South Korea (-18.4 points).
  • Age-related sentiment varies most strongly across Asia Pacific’s more developed markets. The greatest variations in confidence between people aged below 30 and above 30 are felt most strongly across Taiwan (56.5 points vs. 39.7 points), Singapore (66.1 points vs. 50.0 points) and New Zealand (76.3 points vs. 63.0 points).
  • Consumer confidence amongst people over 30 has outpaced those in the under 30 segments in Singapore (+11 points vs. + 5.3 points) and China (+5.7 vs. +0.4 points). In Singapore, A rising aging population, as well as growing optimism towards the economy, income and employment have contributed to this observation.
  • JapanSri Lanka and India tracked improvements in consumer confidence in their above 30 segments, while observing slight declines amongst people under 30. This phenomenon is felt most keenly in Japan, where the older generation reported a 10.9 point jump in confidence, while optimism amongst its youth dipped by -8.8 points.

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The Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence Data – H2 2017

  H2 2017 Current Status Change from last half
Score Sentiment Movement from H1 2017 Status
Asia Pacific 68.5 Optimistic 1.6 Stable +
Australia 54 Neutral + 4.8 Stable +
Bangladesh 80.4 Very Optimistic -9 Some Deterioration
Cambodia 92.2 Extremely Optimistic -0.9 Stable –
China 92.2 Extremely Optimistic 4 Stable +
Hong Kong 62.1 Optimistic 15.2 Significant Improvement
India 84.6 Very Optimistic -1.4 Stable –
Indonesia 67.9 Optimistic -6.9 Some Deterioration
Japan 51 Neutral + 6.6 Some Improvement
Korea 57.1 Neutral + -20.9 Extreme Deterioration
Malaysia 45.9 Neutral – 3.6 Stable +
Myanmar 91.7 Extremely Optimistic 5 Stable +
New Zealand 66.4 Optimistic 5.9 Some Improvement
Philippines 94.5 Extremely Optimistic 5.6 Some Improvement
Singapore 54.6 Neutral + 9.2 Some Improvement
Sri Lanka 39.5 Pessimistic 1.3 Stable +
Taiwan 44.2 Neutral – 5.9 Some Improvement
Thailand 65.1 Optimistic 1.2 Stable +
Vietnam 89.5 Very Optimistic -1.2 Stable –

The Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence Data – H2 2017 (Age)

  Under 30 years of age Above 30 years of age
  Score Sentiment Movement from H1 2017 Status Score Sentiment Movement from H1 2017 Status
Asia Pacific 72.9 Optimistic 0.2 Stable + 66.7 Optimistic 2.3 Stable +
Australia 66.4 Optimistic 4.8 Stable + 49.2 Neutral – 5.6 Some Improvement
Bangladesh 78.7 Very Optimistic -8.1 Some Deterioration 80.9 Very Optimistic -9.5 Some Deterioration
Cambodia 92.9 Extremely Optimistic 0.2 Stable + 91.4 Extremely Optimistic -1.9 Stable –
China 94.8 Extremely Optimistic 0.4 Stable + 90.5 Extremely Optimistic 5.7 Some Improvement
Hong Kong 61.5 Optimistic 21.8 Extreme Improvement 62.3 Optimistic 13 Significant Improvement
India 85.1 Very Optimistic -4.6 Stable – 84.3 Very Optimistic 0.1 Stable +
Indonesia 70.5 Optimistic -13.4 Significant Deterioration 66.5 Optimistic -3.1 Stable –
Japan 58.3 Neutral + -8.8 Some Deterioration 48.9 Neutral – 10.9 Significant Improvement
Malaysia 55.1 Neutral + 6.2 Some Improvement 42.4 Neutral – 2.8 Stable +
Myanmar 93.2 Extremely Optimistic 4.4 Stable + 90.7 Extremely Optimistic 5.5 Some Improvement
New Zealand 76.3 Very Optimistic 15.1 Significant Improvement 63 Optimistic 2.9 Stable +
Philippines 96 Extremely Optimistic 6.9 Some Improvement 93.6 Extremely Optimistic 5.0 Stable +
Singapore 66.1 Optimistic 5.3 Some Improvement 50 Neutral + 11 Significant Improvement
South Korea 57.5 Neutral + -28.3 Extreme Deterioration 56.8 Neutral + -18.4 Significant Deterioration
Sri Lanka 44.1 Neutral – -5.5 Some Deterioration 36.9 Pessimistic 4.7 Stable +
Taiwan 56.5 Neutral + 8.6 Some Improvement 39.7 Pessimistic 5.6 Some Improvement
Thailand 69.5 Optimistic 2.1 Stable + 63.5 Optimistic 1 Stable +
Vietnam 89.9 Very Optimistic -3.3 Stable – 89.4 Very Optimistic 0 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 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. 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).

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 About Mastercard
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Mastercard Communications Contact
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georgette.tan@mastercard.com

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