Retail sales across
Asia Pacific are predicted to continue their strong showing for the second half of 2008 despite growing concerns
surrounding the international financial market unrest, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of
Retail released by MasterCard.
Asia Pacific markets are expected to continue seeing positive growth in retail sales, with
China taking the lead once again as it did in the same reporting period last year. Retail sales in
China are estimated to reach 5566 billion Yuan, representing a sturdy
18% year-on-year growth. The outlook for Hong Kong continues to be bullish, with year on year growth predicted
at 12.7%. Other markets with strong growth set against the backdrop of subdued economic
outlook include Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines, with year-on-year growth expected to
reach 12%, 9.3% and 8.6% respectively.
On the other hand, markets which continue to remain less bullish as during the last reporting
period include Taiwan, New Zealand and Japan, with a year on year growth still present but
expected to reach 2.9%, 2.5% and 1%, respectively.
ďIn spite of the global slowdown and its impacts on Asia, employment and income remain
relatively strong in the region; supporting consumer spending. The projected growth in retail
sales needs to be put in perspective by taking account of the rise in inflation in most markets in
Asia; which means that in real terms the projected growth is less robust than indicated,Ē Dr.
Yuwa Hedrick Wong, economic advisor, MasterCard Worldwide, observes.
||Forecast for 2nd half of 2008
||Retail Sales Forecast
|| Year on Year Growth
|| A$104.5 billion
|| 5566 billion
|| HK$136.8 billion
|| 276.8 trillion
|| 61.8 trillion
|| 49.3 billion
|| 592.3 billion
|| NT$1729 billion
Conducted twice a year in June and December, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Retail was
launched in June 2003 by MasterCard as part of the company's commitment to providing
research and insight for the wider business community in Asia Pacific. Combining 10 years of
retail sales data, factoring in the secular trend of growth of the retail industry, and using the
MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence as an independent
variable, the Index provides six-month forecasts of retail sales growth in 12 markets: Australia, China, Hong
Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and
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