January 21, 2011
Children’s Education is Most Resilient to Cutbacks in Spending
Singapore, 21 January 2011: Asia/Pacific may have cuisines that are as disparate as the region’s geography and culture, but consumers across the region expect Dining and Entertainment to be their top spending priority for the next six months. According to the MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities released today, 69% percent of consumers in Asia/Pacific said they would spend on Dining and Entertainment in the next six months, just a percentage point shy of the highest indicated level since the survey began, representing a growth of four points from six months ago.
In all but one of the Asia/Pacific markets included in the survey, Dining and Entertainment was the top spending priority. The top three markets in the region were Vietnam (89%), Korea (78%) and Hong Kong (75%). A similar trend appeared in Middle East, where all of the six markets surveyed featured Dining and Entertainment as the top spending priority. Some 98% of Egyptians said they would spend on Dining and Entertainment over the next six months, the highest across all the markets surveyed.
The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released twice yearly, provides valuable insights into consumers’ discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead. The latest survey was conducted from 13 September to 11 November 2010 and involved 10,502 consumers from 24 markets across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. The Survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.
The percentage of consumers in Asia/Pacific going to spend on Fashion and Accessories has increased by 6 percentage points to 50% from six months ago. The category is second only to Dining and Entertainment in Australia (50%), New Zealand (53%), Singapore (58%), China (64%) and Vietnam (78%). Another category that grew was Consumer Electronics. Some 43% of consumers surveyed across Asia/Pacific plan to spend on consumer electronics in the next six months, up 6 points from the second half of 2010.
The growth trend in Asia/Pacific for spending priorities in the Dining and Entertainment, Fashion and Accessories and Consumer Electronics categories is supported by the fact that most consumers are planning to maintain the same level of discretionary spending for the first half of 2011 as six months ago. Some 52% of consumers in Asia/Pacific are planning to maintain the same level of discretionary spending, while 19% intend to increase their spending and 29% are planning to decrease their spending. Taken together, these numbers represent the most favorable sentiment in terms of discretionary spending intentions since the survey started collecting this data.
In Asia/Pacific, China (31%), Hong Kong (29%) and India (26%) have the highest percentage of consumers planning to increase their discretionary spending in the next six months while countries with the highest percentage of consumers planning to maintain their level of discretionary spending are Vietnam (62%), Australia (59%) and Korea (59%). As a region, the Middle East had the highest percentage of consumers who were planning to maintain their discretionary spending (63%).
Derived from data in the survey, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience measures how resilient the categories in the survey are to unexpected cutbacks in planned expenditure. A scale of 0 to 100 is used for the Index, with 100 being the most resilient. The more resilient a category is, the less likely there will be a reduction in spending for that category in the event of an unexpected shock to expenditure.
According to the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience, the most resilient category for discretionary spending is private tuition and extracurricular activities for one’s children. The category was the most resilient in half of the markets surveyed, with the highest Index scores for the Asia/Pacific in India (95.7), Vietnam (92.7) and Indonesia (88.9).
Personal Air Travel is the most resilient category in Australia (72.8) and Singapore (64.4). Consumer electronics tops the Index in Japan (68.5), Fitness and Wellness in New Zealand (76.7) while Fashion and Accessories is the most resilient category in Morocco (85.4).
Yunsok Chang, group executive, Global Products and Solutions, Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard Worldwide, said “While it is no surprise that dining and entertainment is at the top of consumers priorities again, it is interesting to see continued positive movement in terms of priorities for the three top categories for the third year running – this is in line with regional economic sentiment and growth over the last six months. Combined with the data on discretionary spending, which are at the highest levels since the survey began, the latest findings show strong consumer sentiment for private consumption over the first half of 2011.”
 Markets surveyed include Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.
- Vietnam had the highest percentages across the region for each of their three top spending categories of Dining & Entertainment (89%), Fashion & Accessories (78%) and Fitness & Wellness (69%).
- Children’s Education was in the top three spending categories for India (53%), Indonesia (49%), Malaysia (39.8%) and Thailand (37%).
- The most resilient category in Malaysia (79.7), Taiwan (78.2), the Philippines (76.7) and Hong Kong (76.7) was on continuing education for self-improvement, according to the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience
- Dining and entertainment is the highest spending category for next 6 months across all 6 markets in the Middle East. Some 98% of consumers in Egypt said they would consider spending on dining and entertainment in the next six months.
- For the region, the highest spending category is Dining & Entertainment (76%), followed by Fashion & Accessories (51%) and Children’s Education (41%).
- Some 63% of respondents across Middle East said they would keep their level of discretionary spending the same. Reflected across markets, the majority of respondents in all six markets said they would keep the same level of discretionary spending. Saudi Arabia stood out because it had the lowest percentage of respondents in the region (6%) saying they plan to decrease their level of discretionary spending, and the highest (41%) saying they plan to increase their level of discretionary spending.
- Children’s Education was the most resilient category in Egypt (99.3), Qatar (97.7) and Lebanon (95.2)
- Spending priorities in Africa are highest for Fashion & Accessories (63%), Dining & Entertainment (48%) and Children’s Education (35%).
- In Africa, the highest percentage of consumers who said they would spend on Fashion and Accessories (90%) and Dining and Entertainment (70%) came from Morocco. The highest percentage who said they would spend on Children’s Education was Kenya (58%).
- Some 42% of respondents in Africa said they would keep the same level of discretionary spending while 35% of respondents in Africa said they would increase their level of discretionary spending. The percentage of consumers who said they would increase the level of discretionary spending in Africa (35%) was higher than consumers who said the same in Asia/Pacific (19%), but lower than consumers in the Middle East (41%).
- The highest percentage of consumers in the region who said they would maintain their level of discretionary spending were in Morocco (81%). Some 64% of consumers in Nigeria said they would increase their level of discretionary spending, the highest in the region, while only 7% of consumers in Morocco said they would decrease their level of discretionary spending, the lowest in the region.
- Nigeria (98.4) had the highest resilience score for the Africa region in the Children’s Education category, according to the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience
The MasterCard Worldwide Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the long-running MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping, Index of Financial Literacy, and the 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 Worldwide and published by John Wiley & Sons.
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 @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.
TagsAsia Pacific, Dining
- Regional findings (October)
- Regional findings (Jan)
- Hongkong findings
- Asia pacific findings
- Asia Pacific findings
- Taiwan findings
- Australia findings
- Asia Pacific findings (Top spend category amongst MasterCard cardholders in Singapore in 2010 was Restaurants/Bars)
- Asia Pacific findings
- Asia Pacific findings
- Asia Pacific findings
- Asia Pacific findings
- Market(Asia Pacific)