Consumers in Asia Pacific largely remain optimistic on their economic outlook despite continued global economic uncertainty, with the exception of Australia, according to the MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence.
The Index is calculated with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral. It is based on a survey conducted between July 2014 and August, covering 12,574 respondents aged 18-64 in 27 countries across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
Collectively, the Asia-Pacific markets are optimistic, recording the highest consumer confidence score in more than 10 years, up 6.9 Index points to 68.3 in the first semester of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.
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 to remain below the halfway point.
Asia-Pacific markets showed increases in each of the key economic indicators — economy (67.1 from 59.3), employment (69.2 from 62.2), regular income prospect (77.5 from 72.1), stock market (65.7 from 57.4), and quality of life (62.2 from 56.3).
Bangladesh recorded the biggest uptick in consumer confidence, jumping 25.9 points to 66.4 Index points.
Other significant, double-digit improvements in consumer confidence were recorded by Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and New Zealand.
Myanmar, Indonesia and India recorded the region’s highest consumer confidence scores, with 94.1 Index points, 94.0 Index points and 89.1 Index points, respectively. Australia recorded the largest dip 12 points to 37.2 Index points.
“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,” said Pierre Burret, MasterCard Advisors’ head of delivery, quality and resource management for Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.