MasterIndex Survey Reveals Continued Optimism in Consumer Confidence in Asia/Pacific

Monday 19 July 2004 14:38 CET | News

MasterCard has reported the results of the latest MasterIndex of Consumer Confidence. The bi-yearly survey reveals that consumers in most Asia/Pacific markets continue to have an optimistic economic outlook for the next six months.

Of the 13 markets surveyed, 11 had an optimistic MasterIndex score, compared to eight in the preceding survey conducted at the end of 2003. Vietnam, Malaysia and China topped the list of markets with a highly positive outlook; other optimistic markets include Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand and the Philippines. While Japan’s MasterIndex score fell slightly short for inclusion in the optimistic realm, it has manifested buoyancy that has never been seen in the 12 year history of the MasterIndex. Korea was the only other market to show a pessimistic outlook. The latest MasterIndex survey was conducted from 15 May to 5 June and involved 5,452 consumers across 13 Asia/Pacific markets. Five variables are measured; employment, economy, regular income, stock market and quality of life. MasterIndex respondents are asked about their sentiments on these five variables for the six month period ahead. Highlights of the latest MasterIndex survey include: - Vietnam takes lead from China and tops the list with the highest score of 91.6. This score is marginally higher when compared to six months ago (91.0). All five economic factors registered highly positive scores. - Malaysia (84.0), though it has fallen back from the preceding MasterIndex, is second in the line-up. Its current MasterIndex is significantly lower than six months ago (93.5) but is still much higher than both a year ago (71.8) and its historical average (75.5). Malaysians continue to be very optimistic on all five MasterIndex economic factors. - China (78.9) remains highly optimistic for the next six months, although the latest MasterIndex is slightly lower than six months ago (83.7). The current MasterIndex is higher when compared to both a year ago (68.0) and the historical average (71.8). - In other South East Asian markets, Indonesia (67.3), the Philippines (54.8) and Singapore (71.9) have all registered an upswing in confidence from the last two MasterIndex results. Thailand shows a significant drop off from the record high indices of the last two reports, although at 69.2, it is still a fairly optimistic showing. - Although pessimistic, Japan’s (47.6) MasterIndex continues to improve when compared to six months ago (31.8) and a year ago (17.4). Korean consumer sentiments remain pessimistic (40.7), much as they were in the last MasterIndex. AUSTRALIA Australias current MasterIndex score of 63.4 has fallen off significantly from its record high six months ago (80.9). However, consumers are still optimistic about Regular Income (81.3), Quality of Life (65.9), Economy (62.9) and Employment (61.1), albeit less so than the preceding six months. Unlike the last survey, consumers have a taken more cautious attitude towards the Stock Market (46.0). The current MasterIndex score is higher when compared to a year ago (45.3) and the historical average (56.8). CHINA China consumers (78.9), although currently less optimistic when compared to six months ago (83.7), are still highly optimistic. At 78.9, the score is higher than the historical average of 71.8. Consumers remain very optimistic about Employment (74.1 vs. 72.3 six months ago) and are still optimistic about the Economy (93.7 vs. 96.3 six months ago), Regular Income (86.5 vs. 90.4 six months ago) and Quality of Life (94.4 vs. 95.8 six months ago). They have, however, become less optimistic about the Stock Market (45.9 vs. 63.5 six months ago). HONG KONG Hong Kong registered a MasterIndex score of 71.2. This is much higher as compared to a year ago (23.2) and its historical average (46.8). Consumer sentiments on Employment (80.9), the Economy (77.4), Quality of Life (72.2), the Stock Market (68.5) and Regular Income (57.1) are fair to very positive.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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