January 21, 2014
Emerging Markets - Myanmar, Indonesia and India - most confident
To tweet this news, copy and paste: NEWS: Rising Optimism amongst Youth in Asia/Pacific: MasterCard Index http://bit.ly/1cKJ03F
Singapore, 21 January 2014 – Youth in Asia/Pacific’s emerging markets are largely optimistic about the future according to the inaugural MasterCard Youth Confidence Index, a positive sign of the times ahead.
The MasterCard Youth Confidence Index, released today, is a new initiative by MasterCard that measures the short-term outlook and confidence levels amongst youth (18-30 years) in the Asia/Pacific region.
Respondents were asked about their six- month outlook on five economic factors including employment prospects, the economy, regular income, and present versus anticipated quality of life in 5 years. The Index is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral, and respondents’ thoughts on the six months ahead.
Of the 16 Asia/Pacific markets polled, Myanmar came out leagues ahead with an overall index score of 92.4. Youth in India (84.0) and Indonesia (82.5) were also frontrunners in optimism, followed by Philippines (78.5) and China (77.5). Youth in developed markets reflected lower levels of confidence with Taiwan (42.2) and Japan (48.6) trailing the region. (See chart below for full set of rankings)
Amongst emerging markets, Bangladesh was the exception scoring 55.2 on the overall Index, a possible reflection of the challenges faced by the country in 2013. In contrast, Myanmar’s eventful year, one filled with much progress was reflected in the consistently positive attitudes of their young people towards the economy, employment and regular income prospects.
Across all markets, youth were most optimistic about their regular income prospects and least optimistic about their present life situation. In addition, when asked if their life situation in 5 years would be better than today, emerging markets were most optimistic with Myanmar’s youth (92.9) once again leading the pack, followed by the Philippines (85.6), China (84.5) and Thailand (80.3).
“This new index by MasterCard is a good barometer for where today’s youth stand in terms of confidence levels regarding a variety of economic factors. It is encouraging to see strong scores reflecting optimistic attitudes towards the coming six months, especially with regard to employment and regular income prospects which no doubt have a significant impact on the potential of the youth consumer market as well,” noted Pierre Burret, Region Head, Asia/Pacific, MasterCard Advisors.
“With elections expected in numerous countries in the region this year, it will also be interesting to see if this optimism holds up and continues through to the end of 2014,” he added.
Separately, in a MasterCard Survey of people above the age of 30, respondents were asked similar questions about their short-term confidence levels, with their views on the local stock market as an added category. While the overall confidence score for the MasterCard Youth Index across all Asia/Pacific markets was 67.8, the MasterCard Consumer Confidence Index for the older segment was lower at 64.0
This trend of higher optimism amongst youth was consistent across Asia/Pacific with developed markets seeing the greatest disparity in optimism levels between people aged below-30 and above-30, most notably in Singapore (68.8 vs. 50.3), Australia (64.0 vs. 49.9) and South Korea (58.1 vs. 51.9).
That said, all three markets were different in the category that older consumers were more worried about compared to their younger counterparts. In Australia, the older age segment was largely pessimistic about their employment prospects (31.5), in Singapore, the concern was the economy (38.9) and in South Korea, the older segment scored nearly 14 points below youth in their outlook towards regular income prospects.
|MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence|
|Market||Respondents Aged 18-30 Years||Respondents Aged 30-64 Years|
The MasterCard Youth Confidence Index is a new initiative by MasterCard to measure the short-term outlook and confidence levels amongst youth (18-30 years) in the Asia/Pacific region. Five economic factors are measured: Employment, the Economy, Regular Income, Present Quality of Life and Anticipated Quality of Life in 5 years. The Index is calculated based with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral. 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 Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.
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 Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.