November 10, 2011
Sydney, 10 November 2011: Despite continuing caution among consumers, Australians are still prepared to reward themselves through discretionary spending on entertainment and leisure activities, according to the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Dining and Entertainment.
Even though the latest ABS retail statistics show retail spending is experiencing some small growth, overall Australian purse strings remain tight and the November RBA interest rate cut (of 0.25% to 4.50%) will provide welcome relief to households.
This wave of research, which surveyed 647 Australians, highlights that consumers are still prepared to selectively spend on leisure and entertainment, although the proportion varies greatly amongst generation groups – with 12% of Gen Y allocating more than 30% of their monthly income; falling to 3% for Gen X and 1% for baby boomers. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.
Overall one in five Australians (22%) are setting aside 11-20 per cent of their monthly income for leisure and personal entertainment, with one in ten allocating as much as 21 to 30 per cent.
However, personal entertainment falls low on the list of priorities for over a third of Australians when it comes to their expenditure, with almost one third (29%) spending less than six per cent of their monthly income on leisure activities. On average, 13 per cent of monthly income is dedicated to entertainment spend, which is below the Asia Pacific regional average of 14%.
MasterCard Australia Country Manager Andrew Cartwright says: “Whilst the latest ABS statistics suggest small growth, overall Australians are keeping a watchful eye on the ever changing economic situation and are mindful of their outgoings. This means choices on non essential spending, such as leisure and entertainment, will be more carefully made with a sharper focus on value and satisfaction.”
Australians are also continuing to spend on dining out with friends and family and, on average, set aside US$136 on eating out each month. When it comes to footing the bill, all generations are recognising the benefits of paying on debit and accessing only the money available in their bank accounts, with Gen Y (18-29 year olds) most likely to use debit cards across all dining categories, from food courts to fine dining restaurants.
MasterCard Australia Country Manager, Andrew Cartwright said this demonstrates the decline in the reliance on cash among younger consumers.
“Gen Y is leading the charge when it comes to embracing a cashless society, through convenient payment technologies like PayPass. MasterCard’s research further highlights this trend alongside the rapid uptake and growth in PayPass transactions, which this year exceeded one million transactions a month in Australia for the first time since its launch here.
 MasterCard announced in March this year with the launch of Roadmap, that PayPass will be a standard feature on all newly issued MasterCard’s from October 2012
When it comes to choosing where to spend their monthly entertainment budget, consumers vary greatly, with more than one third (34%) planning to attend live sporting events and almost half (48%) intending to go to a live performance over a six month period.
In addition, Australians still clearly love a night out at the movies, with three quarters (75%) visiting the cinema over a six month period and almost a quarter (24%) going to the movies, two to three times a month.
- 42% of Australians plan to visit a pub or nightclub in the coming months
- Of those who visit pubs or bars, one third (33%) visit two to three times a month
- 31% of Australians are looking to visit an amusement/theme park in the near future
- Nearly one third (32%) visit fine dining restaurants once per month
For the full report go to: www.masterintelligence.com
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.