June 25, 2013
Emerging Markets Are Most Optimistic but Largest Improvements in Consumer Confidence Recorded in Japan, Taiwan and Korea
Singapore, 25 June 2013 – Consumer confidence across Asia/Pacific has risen amid stable economic growth, with the emerging markets of Myanmar, India, Indonesia and the Philippines leading the region, according to the latest MasterCard IndexTM of Consumer Confidence.
The MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence (“Index”) is based on a survey conducted between April 2013 and May 2013 on 12,205 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 27 countries within Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. This is the 41st survey of Consumer Confidence conducted since 1993.
Now in its 20th year the Index is Asia/Pacific’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey. Respondents were asked five 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 Index score is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.
Overall, 10 out of 16 Asia/Pacific markets recorded positive improvements from the second half of 2012, led by Myanmar (96.0 index points), India (82.0 index points), Indonesia (81.0 index points) and the Philippines (79.9 index points). Japan recorded the most substantial improvement in consumer confidence, surging 37.0 index points from the previous survey to 60.7 index points, the highest it has been since the second half of 2005 when the index reached 63.0 index points.
Sentiment among Taiwanese and Korean consumers also jumped, with increases of 19.2 index points and 14.8 index points respectively. The overall score for Taiwan more than doubled that seen in the previous Index (25.7 index points).
“Overall, Asians are still relatively optimistic about the state of their economies. The large jumps in consumer confidence seen in Japan can be attributed to the government’s measures to tackle deflation, whereas in the case of Korea it can be linked to the new government’s strong measures to boost the domestic economy, particularly in property-related tax cuts,” said Pierre Burret, Region Head, Asia/Pacific, MasterCard Advisors.
The biggest deterioration in consumer confidence was seen in Bangladesh, which dropped 39.5 index points to 22.2 index points, underpinned by political uncertainty, a series of strikes, and crisis in the key garments sector. Consumer confidence also declined in Vietnam, down 16.1 index points from the previous survey to 58.4 index points, with the sub-indexes for all major indicators taking a hit.
Overall, sentiment among consumers in Asia/Pacific improved by 1.2 index points, from 62.1 index points in the second half of 2012 to 63.3 index points. Across the region, the indicator of employment showed the largest increase of 3.2 index points (from 59.4 to 62.6 index points), followed by stock market (+2.3 index points; from 59.0 to 61.3 index points), economy (+1.6 index points; from 60.0 to 61.6 index points), and regular income (+0.4 index points; from 73.8 to 74.2 index points). Quality of life, however, declined by 1.5 index points (from 58.1 to 56.6 index points).
MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence 1H 2013
|H1 2013 Current Status||Change from last half|
|Australia||46.1||Neutral -||5.8||Some Improvement|
|Bangladesh||22.2||Very Pessimistic||-39.5||Extreme Deterioration|
|China||76.9||Very Optimistic||-4.9||Stable -|
|Hong Kong||51.1||Neutral +||-7.8||Some Deterioration|
|India||82.0||Very Optimistic||-3.5||Stable -|
|Indonesia||81.0||Very Optimistic||-6.5||Some Deterioration|
|Korea||53.5||Neutral +||14.8||Significant Improvement|
|Myanmar||96.0||Extremely Optimistic||1.0||Stable +|
|New Zealand||49.9||Neutral -||7.2||Some Improvement|
|Philippines||79.9||Very Optimistic||1.1||Stable +|
|Singapore||53.5||Neutral +||3.5||Stable +|
|Taiwan||52.4||Neutral +||19.2||Significant Improvement|
|Vietnam||58.4||Neutral +||-16.1||Significant Deterioration|
 The index of Consumer Confidence for Japan was on an uptrend from 2004 H2 (37.7 index points) to 2007 H1 (66.8 index points), before it started to tumble in 2007 H2 (48.6 index points) due to the global financial crisis.
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 averaged to form the MasterCard 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.
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, Middle East and Africa.
The MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence 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 comprising the Asia/Pacific markets began in the first half of 1993 and has been conducted twice yearly since. Markets from the Middle East and Africa were included in the Index from 2004. Twenty seven markets now participate in the survey: Australia, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The latest MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence survey was conducted from April to May 2013. A total of 12,205 qualified respondents were surveyed in the 27 markets with the sample being representative of the middle and upper income groups in each market.
The Index is calculated based with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral. Five economic factors are measured: Employment, the Economy, Regular Income, Stock Market and Quality of Life. The responses are consumers' thoughts on the six months ahead. Data collection was via internet surveys and face to face interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four to five percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.
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.