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Consumer confidence plummets in Singapore and Taiwan as region grows gloomier about global economic outlook

Myanmar: the most confident consumer market in APAC

Myanmar: the most confident consumer market in APAC

Consumer confidence fell significantly in a number of key Asian markets in the last half quarter of 2015, with 12 out of 17 Asia Pacific countries measured by MasterCard showing a weakening in sentiment, mostly as a result of stock market jitters and dwindling job prospects.

This is the first time since 2012 that the region’s consumer markets have been so worried about the future, according to the credit card company’s study.

Consumer confidence in Singapore, the region’s major media and marketing hub, fell by 20.9 percentage points to 44.3 per cent and is now in “neutral” sentiment territory. Singapore’s was the second biggest drop after Sri Lanka, where confidence was down 25.2 points.

Taiwan also saw a big drop in consumer confidence – by 20.6 percentage points to 28.9 per cent – and is now the region’s most pessimistic market, ranked beneath Malaysia, which has also lost confidence.

Declines were also seen in China and India, although both of these huge consumer markets remain optimistic overall.

Only developing markets Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar experienced a rise in consumer sentiment, with the latter the region’s most confident market, up 41.1 percentage points to 95.7 per cent confidence, which MasterCard categorises as “extremely optimistic.

Overall, the region saw a decline in confidence by 6.4 percentage points, and is positioned in “neutral” sentiment territory.

 

MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence Data – H2 2015

H2 2015 Current Status Change from last half
Asia Pacific 59.7 Neutral + -6.4 Some Deterioration
Australia 42.4 Neutral – 2.9 Stable +
China 74.6 Optimistic -11.3 Significant Deterioration
Hong Kong 44.4 Neutral – -16.8 Significant Deterioration
India 90.2 Extremely Optimistic -2.9 Stable –
Indonesia 76.5 Very Optimistic 12.2 Significant Improvement
Japan 46.9 Neutral – -9.7 Some Deterioration
Korea 33.8 Pessimistic -6.2 Some Deterioration
Malaysia 32.0 Pessimistic -13.0 Significant Deterioration
New Zealand 52.0 Neutral + -5.7 Some Deterioration
Philippines 82.3 Very Optimistic 0.9 Stable +
Singapore 44.3 Neutral – -20.9 Extreme Deterioration
Taiwan 28.9 Pessimistic -20.6 Extreme Deterioration
Thailand 66.6 Optimistic -6.1 Some Deterioration
Vietnam 94.2 Extremely Optimistic 7.3 Some Improvement
Myanmar 95.7 Extremely Optimistic 14.1 Significant Improvement
Bangladesh 67.3 Optimistic -8.0 Some Deterioration
Sri Lanka 42.2 Neutral – -25.2 Extreme Deterioration

 

The regional head, APAC, MasterCard Advisors, Eric Schneider, commented: “The decline of consumer confidence in Asia Pacific reflects the continued uncertainty in the global economic environment. In particular, recent stock market turbulence has significantly impacted consumer outlook. However, a number of emerging markets are bucking this trend, namely, Myanmar, Vietnam and India, which are all continuing to see strong economic growth. So while Asia Pacific’s overall confidence has dampened and growth has slowed, its markets will still play a key role in driving global growth in 2016.”

The study ran between November and December 2015, and involved 8,779 people aged 18 to 64 in Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

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