February 07, 2012
Australia, February 7th 2012: The latest MasterCard consumer confidence index has revealed a significant difference in sentiment between women and men.
The MasterCard Worldwide IndexTM Index of Consumer Confidence (MWICC) found Australian women scored a pessimistic 34.4 out of a possible score of 100 in consumer confidence. The finding takes into account views on employment, the economy, regular income, the stock market and quality of life for the coming six months.
This stands in contrast to sentiment among Australian men, who scored a comparatively buoyant (though far from optimistic) 46.5. Overall Australia scored 40.3, a figure that remained stable with the previous index score of 39.2 six months ago and positioned the country as the fourth least optimistic of the 14 markets surveyed in the region.
MasterCard Australia Country Manager, Andrew Cartwright says the solemn consumer mood is reinforced by payment industry figures.
“Payment data reflects consumer sentiment. RBA data over the past few years has shown that when it comes to spending, Australians are taking a conservative approach preferring to pay down debt than extend it.
“In the last year, the total credit card balances accruing interest in Australia fell by over $1 billion – about 3%. That’s a sure sign that consumers are feeling cautious.
“At the same time Debit card spending has continued to grow at double digit rates driven by Australians’ continued shift toward using their own money for purchases.”
The report found the primary concerns for Australian women included quality of life, which registered a low score of 29.3, and employment with a similarly low 23. The findings follow the most recent unemployment data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in December, which revealed the unemployment rate has risen slightly to 5.4 per cent (from 5.3 percent in November).1
The index found the most optimistic country in Asia/Pacific is Indonesia (87.5), while the most pessimistic country in the region was Japan (23.7). Consumer confidence across the entire Asia/Pacific region scored 59.7.
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The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is based on a survey conducted between 7 November 2012 and 23 December 2012 on 11,339 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 25 countries. This is the 40th survey of Consumer Confidence conducted since 1993.
Respondents were asked 5 questions pertaining to their 6 month outlook on the economy, employment prospects, the local stock market, their regular income prospects and their quality of life. The results of their responses were converted in 5 component indexes which were subsequently averaged to form the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence (MWICC) score. The MWICC 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.
MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence Australia:
|Component||Current Status||Change from last half|
|Regular income||55.8||Neutral +||-4.2||Stable -|
|Stock market||43.5||Neutral -||-1.3||Stable -|
|Quality of life||36.1||Pessimistic||4.5||Stable +|
Notes to the editor:
1Australia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 5.4 per cent in December, as announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/6202.0Media%20Release1Dec%202012
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