TravelNewsAsia.com

 

 

MasterIndex Survey reveals continued Optimism in Consumer Confidence in Asia/Pacific

Travel News Asia 19 July 2004

MasterCard today announced the results of its 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.  

"The region remains solidly optimistic in general, which is consistent with the maturing economic recovery both globally and in Asia. This is quite remarkable given the recent spike in world price of oil and related uncertainties. For markets that have dropped slightly from previous levels of extremely strong optimism, typically it is the poor stock market outlook that has dragged down the average. Outlooks on the economy, income, employment and quality of life tend to remain strongly optimistic," said Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor, Asia/Pacific, MasterCard International.

MasterIndex Country Findings

AUSTRALIA

Australia's 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.

INDONESIA

Indonesia's current MasterIndex (67.3) is well ahead when compared to a period ago (49.0) and year ago (57.5). It is supported by greatly improved consumer sentiments on Employment (57.5 vs 22.9 six months ago), Quality of Life (68.5 vs 36.4 six months ago), and Economy (69.9 vs 45.3 six months ago), Regular Income (87.4 vs 87.9 six months ago) and an unchanged but slightly optimistic outlook on the Stock Market (53.0 vs 52.7 six months ago). The current score is at par with the market's historical average (67.5).

JAPAN

Japanese consumer sentiments continue to improve. The current MasterIndex score (47.6) is a record high for the market. It is significantly higher than six months ago (31.8), a year ago (17.4) and its historical average (22.7).

Current sentiments on the Stock Market (68.8) are optimistic while outlook on the Economy (51.6) is just barely optimistic. Sentiments on Employment (43.9), Quality of Life (34.9) and Regular Income (38.7) are pessimistic.

KOREA

The market's current MasterIndex score of 40.7 is slightly lower than six months ago (43.6) and is significantly below its historical average (55.0). Except for the marginally optimistic sentiments on Regular Income (51.5), consumers are pessimistic with regard to Employment (36.3), Quality of Life (34.8), Economy (39.5) and the Stock Market (41.3).

Compared to a year ago (31.0), the current reading is a significant improvement.

MALAYSIA

Malaysian consumers are highly optimistic (84.0). Although sentiments on Economy (87.5), Regular Income (84.9), Quality of Life (86.2) and the Stock Market (70.6) have come down when compared to six months ago, consumer confidence in Malaysia remains buoyant. Consumer sentiments on Employment (90.6 vs 81.4 six months ago) have in fact improved but not sufficiently to make up for the loss in other factors.

Although the current overall score may be lower than six months ago (93.5), it is still much higher than a year ago (71.8) and the historical average (75.5).

NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand consumers (56.5) are currently less optimistic than they were six months ago (73.7) but on the whole they are still optimistic about the next six months. The current MasterIndex is at the same level as a year ago (56.6) but is slightly below its historical average (60.2).

Consumers are very optimistic about Regular Income (82.5 vs 89.4 six months ago) and are positive on Employment (59.4 vs 70.8 six months ago). They have, however, become less optimistic about the Economy (47.2 vs 73.0 six months ago), Quality of Life (47.1 vs 69.2 six months ago) and the Stock Market (46.6 vs 65.9 six months ago).

PHILIPPINES

The market's current MasterIndex score of 54.8 is superior to the preceding period (34.3) and slightly more favorable than a year ago (50.1) and the historical average (51.9).

Consumer sentiments on three of the five economic factors such as Quality of Life (49.5 vs 27.3 six months ago), Stock Market (47.5 vs 23.9 six months ago) and Employment (44.9 vs 22.2 six months ago) can be considered neutral. Sentiments on Regular Income (79.5 vs 66.6 six months ago) and the Economy (52.7 vs 31.7 six months ago) have shown marked increase.

SINGAPORE

Singapore's MasterIndex score (71.9) is significantly higher when compared to that of six months (65.3), a year ago (33.9) and to its historical average (64.2). Consumer sentiments on virtually all five economic factors (Economy 82.0, Regular Income 80.6, Employment 77.5, Quality of Life 61.1 and Stock Market 58.1) have significantly improved. 

TAIWAN

Taiwan's current MasterIndex score of 58.6 shows a decline in consumer confidence compared to six months ago (65.7). This is caused largely by significantly weaker Stock Market sentiments (60.6 vs 79.6 six months ago), softer sentiments on the Economy (65.1 vs 76.6 six months ago), as well as slightly weaker expectations of Employment (48.7 vs 52.6 six months ago). Outlook on Regular Income, however, remains optimistic (70.1 vs 69.7 six months ago) while sentiments on Quality of Life are neutral (48.6 vs 50.0 six months ago).

The indication is that Taiwanese consumers are somewhat confident over the state of the overall economy for the next six months. Though the current MasterIndex score is weaker than in the preceding period (65.7), it is very much stronger than a year ago (26.5) and is significantly higher than its historical average (50.4).

THAILAND

Thailand's current MasterIndex score of 69.2 is fairly optimistic. This is much higher than the historical average (57.0).

The current score is supported by an optimistic outlook on Regular Income (79.3), Employment (74.9), Economy (70.9), Quality of Life (67.4) and Stock Market (53.6).

VIETNAM

Vietnam's MasterIndex score of 91.6 shows that consumers continue to be highly optimistic about the general state of their economy and quality of life over the next six months. As in the preceding period, consumers are exceedingly optimistic about Quality of Life (98.1), Employment (95.0), Regular Income (94.6), Stock Market (76.4) and the Economy (94.0).

Subscribe to our Travel Industry News RSS Feed Travel Industry News RSS Feed from TravelNewsAsia.com. To do that in Outlook, right-click the RSS Feeds folder, select Add a New RSS Feed, enter the URL of our RSS Feed which is: https://www.travelnewsasia.com/travelnews.xml and click Add. The feed can also be used to add the headlines to your website or channel via a customisable applet. Have questions? Please read our Travel News FAQ. Thank you.

     
 
 
Copyright © 1997-2022 TravelNewsAsia.com