Vietnam, India, Myanmar optimistic on markets hinh anh 1A view of HCM City (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Twelve of 17 markets in the Asia Pacific recorded declines in MasterCard’s Index of Consumer Confidence, but Myanmar, Vietnam and India are still extremely optimistic in their outlook.

For the first time since 2012, consumers in the region are not optimistic about the immediate future, according to a MasterCard report titled Consumer Confidence (H2 2015). 

The index has fallen below the 60 point optimism mark to neutral, with 12 of the 17 markets seeing a deterioration in confidence levels. Stock market sentiment was the key driver of the decline followed by prospects for employment. The biggest decline in optimism levels was seen in Sri Lanka, followed by Singapore and Taiwan.

Myanmar, Vietnam and India on the other hand are extremely optimistic in their outlook for the next six months.

Consumer confidence in India stayed stable with consumers maintaining their extremely optimistic outlook.

Between November and December last year 8,779 respondents aged 18 to 64 in 17 Asia Pacific markets were asked to give a six-month outlook on five economic factors - the economy, employment prospects, regular income prospects, the stock market, and their quality of life.

A zero score is most pessimistic, 100 is most optimistic and 50 is neutral. 

Eric Schneider, region head, Asia Pacific, MasterCard Advisors, said: “The decline of consumer confidence in Asia Pacific reflects the continued uncertainty in the global economic environment. In particular, recent stock market turbulence has significantly impacted consumer outlook.

“However, a number of emerging markets are bucking this trend, namely, Myanmar, Vietnam and India, which are all continuing to see strong economic growth.

“So while Asia Pacific’s overall confidence has dampened and growth has slowed, its markets will still play a key role in driving global growth in 2016.”

Overall, the Asia Pacific markets saw a deterioration in confidence, falling 6.4 points to 59.7 points in H2 2015 from 66.1 points the previous half. Eight of the 17 markets surveyed are now below the 50 point neutral, double the number in H1.

There were declines across all five key economic indicators: stock market (-10.8 to 52.0), employment (-7.1 to 59.8), economy (-6.7 to 56.2), quality of life (-4.7 to 57.4) and regular income prospects (-2.9 to 72.9).

People in Myanmar, Vietnam and India are however extremely optimistic about economic prospects over the next six months, with Myanmar showing the biggest improvement.

Compared to H1, only Myanmar (+14.1), Indonesia (+12.2) and Vietnam (+7.3) out of the 16 Asia Pacific markets surveyed recorded a greater than five-point improvement in consumer confidence. 

Declines were recorded in 12, with extreme deterioration in Sri Lanka (-25.2), Singapore (-20.9), and Taiwan (-20.6).

The decreases in Korea, Malaysia, and Taiwan moved them from neutral into pessimistic territory, while Australia, the only pessimistic market in the previous survey, moved from pessimistic to neutral.-VNA