India tops the Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence rankings as the most optimistic market in Asia Pacific, with Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines and Bangladesh rounding off the top five.
Overall, consumer confidence in Asia Pacific continues to hold steady, showing stability (within plus or minus five points from the previous survey) in nine out of 17 markets. With an increase of 1.2 points in the overall score from the first half of 2016 to 60.9 points in the second half, Asia Pacific sits just above the 60 point optimistic mark.
However, the overall stability masks some significant movements across five markets in the region compared to the previous six months. Hong Kong, Thailand and Bangladesh saw more than 10 point improvements, while Malaysia and Taiwan saw more than 10 point decreases.
Bangladesh recorded the largest gain of 11.2 points to 82.8 points – a significant improvement in overall consumer confidence compared to the first half of 2016 where it saw a relatively smaller increase of 4.2 points. Bangladesh’s increase in score was backed by an improvement in all components, the largest coming from heightened expectations in stock market movements (+24.6 points). Both Thailand and Hong Kong also saw a large improvement of 10.1 points, putting Thailand in optimistic territory and Hong Kong in neutral territory.
On the other hand, eight of the 17 markets saw a deterioration in confidence levels. The biggest decline in optimism levels was observed in Taiwan, followed by Malaysia, and Myanmar. According to the survey, prospects for the stock market was the key driver of the decline.
Between November and December 2016, 8723 respondents, aged 18 to 64 in 17 Asia Pacific markets, were asked to give a six-month outlook on five economic factors including the economy, employment prospects, regular income prospects, the stock market and their 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.