Myanmar recorded the Asia Pacific region’s highest consumer confidence in a survey carried out by American payment giant MasterCard, showing that the Southeast Asian nation’s population remains mostly optimistic about the fledgling economy.
Myanmar, Indonesia and India recorded the Asia Pacific region’s highest consumer confidence scores, with 94.1, 94.0 and 89.1 Index points, respectively, according to the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence survey.
Consumers in Asia Pacific largely remain optimistic on their economic outlook despite continued uncertainty in the global economy with the exception of Australia, the survey revealed.
Australia recorded the largest dip in consumer confidence, down 12 Index points to 37.2 Index points in H1 2014 from 49.2 in H2 2013.
Respondents were asked to give a six-month outlook on five economic factors including the economy, employment prospects, regular income prospects, and their quality of life. The Index is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral.
“Consumer confidence across the Asia Pacific region has reached its highest level in more than 10 years. Markets like Bangladesh and Taiwan are showing strong increases in consumer sentiment, bolstered by key influences such as a perception of better employment prospects and of an improving economy,” said Pierre Burret, Head of Delivery, Quality & Resource Management for Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard Advisors.
“The region’s overall optimism for the future is an encouraging sign, and demonstrates the importance of continuing to innovate with partners in emerging markets like Myanmar, India and Indonesia, in efforts to drive economic growth,” he added.
Collectively, the Asia Pacific markets are optimistic – recording the highest consumer confidence score in more than 10 years. The region is up 6.9 Index points to 68.3 Index points in the first half (H1) of 2014 from 61.5 Index points in H2 2013.
Compared to six months ago, twelve out of the 16 Asia Pacific markets surveyed recorded both positive sentiment and experienced either some or significant improvement in consumer confidence. Four markets moved above the 50 point neutral mark in this survey, leaving only Australia and South Korea as the only markets out of the 16 to remain below the 50 point neutral mark.
Asia Pacific markets showed increases in each of the key economic indicators: economy (67.1 Index points in H1 2014 from 59.3 Index points in H2 2013), employment (69.2 from 62.2 Index points), regular income prospect (77.5 from 72.1 Index points), stock market (65.7 from 57.4 Index points), and quality of life (62.2 from 56.3 Index points).
Bangladesh recorded the biggest uptick in consumer confidence, jumping a whopping 25.9 points (from 40.5 Index points in H2 2013 to 66.4 Index points in H1 2014).
Taiwan’s consumer confidence also grew by a large percentage, up 24.6 points (from 33.0 Index points in H2 2013 to 57.6 Index points in H1 2014).
Other significant, double-digit improvements in consumer confidence were recorded by Thailand up 14.6 Index points (from 72.0 Index points in H2 2013 to 86.6 Index points in H1 2014); Singapore up 13.2 Index points (from 47.4 Index points in H2 2013 to 60.6 Index points in H1 2014); Indonesia up 11.3 Index points (from 82.8 Index points in H2 2013 to 94.0 Index points in H1 2014); and New Zealand up 10.8 Index points (from 55.0 Index points in H2 2013 to 65.8 Index points in H1 2014).