Across Asia Pacific, overall consumer confidence stays buoyed in optimistic territory at 66.9 points, a slight improvement from 62.7 points six months ago, according to the Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence.
The 4.2 point increase in confidence was driven mainly by a bullish outlook on the Stock Market (+7.3) and Employment (+5.1). Consumer sentiment remains stable in 11 out of the 18 Asia Pacific markets (within +/- 5 points from the last survey).
Boosted by heightened expectations in its economic performance, South Korea has recorded the largest improvement in consumer confidence in Asia Pacific. Optimism in South Korea at its highest level since 1995, and the market’s meteoric leap in sentiment has propelled it from pessimistic territory to very optimistic territory over the last six months. Likewise, Singapore and Malaysia also saw significant leaps in confidence.
Meanwhile, India continues to stay in very optimistic territory at 86.0 points, despite posting the region's largest decline of 9.3 points. Consumer sentiment also saw a slight deterioration of 6 points in Myanmar.
According to the Index, pessimism towards Quality of Life was the key driver of decline for both India and Myanmar.
Most optimistic markets
Between April and June 2017, 9153 respondents, aged 18 to 64 in 18 Asia Pacific markets, were asked to give a six-month outlook on five economic factors, namely, the Economy, Employment prospects, Regular Income prospects, Stock Market and Quality of Life.
The Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as the most optimistic and between 40 and 60 as neutral.
Cambodia (93.1) leads the region as the most optimistic market, with Vietnam (90.8), Bangladesh (89.4), Philippines (88.8), and China (88.2) rounding off the top five.
South Korea (78.0), which experienced a small improvement in consumer confidence in the previous survey, recorded the largest increase in the region compared to the last survey six months ago with significant improvement across all five components – Employment (+47.2), Economy (+59.0), Regular Income (+24.0), Stock Market (+54.2) and Quality of Life (+49.4).
Singapore (45.4, +15.4) and Malaysia (42.3, +11.1) moved from pessimistic into neutral territory, with significant improvements of more than 10 points. Both markets saw more than 15 point improvements in the Stock Market component.
China (88.2, +7.4) and Bangladesh (89.4, +6.6) moved further into very optimistic territory, with some improvement in all five components, particularly Employment (+12.1) for China and Stock Market (+15.0) for Bangladesh.
India (86.0, -9.3) has shown the largest deterioration in confidence levels in the region, but still remains in very optimistic territory. While all five components saw declines, consumer outlook on the Economy (-11.0) and Quality of Life (-11.6) registered particularly large drops.
Indonesia stays in optimistic territory, with an increase of 4.0 points to 74.8 points driven by a large bump (+16.8) in the Employment component.
Philippines (88.8, -2.7) and Myanmar (86.8, -6.0) saw a slight deterioration in confidence levels, but remain in very optimistic territory.
Thailand (63.9, -4.4) and New Zealand (60.5, -1.7) remain in optimistic territory, despite observing declines in all of the components, barring Regular Income.
Australia (49.2, +2.7), Hong Kong (47.0, +4.8) and Japan (44.4, +1.4) posted slight increases, remaining in neutral territory. Hong Kong and Japan observed slight deterioration in the Regular Income component (-5.8 and -8.9, respectively), while Australia recorded an increase in all five components.
Taiwan (38.3, +4.1) and Sri Lanka, (38.2, -2.0), the lowest ranked in the region, saw slight movements in overall consumer confidence, remaining in pessimistic territory.