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MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence Finds Hong Kong Consumers Concerned about Quality of Life & the Economy

October 16, 2014 Financial No Comments Email Email

Consumers in Hong Kong continue to be concerned about their quality of life and the economy and the confidence level of those aged 30 or below hits the lowest since 2011, according to the latest MasterCard Index™ of Consumer Confidence released today.

This is despite that overall consumer confidence showed a slight improvement compared with the second half last year, with the Index points up from 53.4 to 54.4. Among Hong Kong respondents, those under the age of 30 were not as confident as the older respondents (48.7 for those below 30 vs. 56.5 for those above 30).

Consumer confidence trended down as reflected in three of the five economic indicators over the past six months.  Local consumers were pessimistic about their Quality of Life (from 32.5 to 30.6 Index points) and the Economy(from 45.2 to 43.6 Index points). They were more optimistic about their Employment (from 57.2 to 63.6 Index points) and Stock Market (from 55.0 to 57.8 Index points) prospects. Similar to the last survey, Hong Kong respondents were most optimistic about the outlook of their Regular Income despite a slight drop in Index points (from 77.0 to 76.5).

Hong Kong’s Index of Consumer Confidence over the Past Three Years 

  H1
2011
H2
2011
H1

2012

H2
2012
H1
2013
H2
2013
H1
2014
Employment 70.4 25.7 58.0 56.9 54.0 57.2 63.6
Economy 66.4 19.9 41.3 47.0 42.3 45.2 43.6
Regular Income 80.6 59.4 78.8 83.6 77.1 77.0 76.5
Stock Market 79.1 23.3 39.4 63.9 48.7 55.0 57.8
Quality of Life 46.3 21.1 41.8 43.1 33.3 32.5 30.6
MasterIndex 68.6 29.9 51.8 58.9 51.1 53.4 54.4
               
Respondents aged 30 or below 71.2 31.4 58.1 55.8 52.7 53.1 48.7
Respondents aged over 30 68.9 26.0 49.6 60.1 50.6 53.8 56.5

“Although consumers are at large confident of their employment and regular income prospects, the sentiment level among the under-30 was much lower than the older age group,” said Anna Yip, head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard, “Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see a slight improvement in overall consumer sentiment and local consumers continuing to be optimistic about their regular income and employment prospects.”

The Asia/Pacific region also saw moderate growth in overall score from 61.4 to 68.3 Index points. Most of the markets (12 out of 16) recorded improvement in consumer sentiment against the second half of 2013 with improvement managed only by seven of the 16 markets. Among all Asia/ Pacific markets, Bangladesh had the biggest improvement from 40.5 to 66.4 Index points, followed by Taiwan, which score surged by 24.6 Index points to 57.6 Index points with substantial improvement across all the five key indicators. On the other hand, sentiment among Australian consumers dropped a significant 12.0 points to 37.2 Index points.

In China, optimism prevailed among consumers as indicated by its overall score climbing 6.7 Index points to 82.6. All five key indicators for the market improved in the first half of 2014 with consumers having an extremely positive outlook on their Regular Income (93.7 Index points).

The latest MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence (“Index”) is based on a survey conducted between July 2014 and August 2014 on 12,574 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 27 markets within Asia/Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. This is the 43rd survey of Consumer Confidence conducted since 1993. Now in its 21st year, the Index is Asia/Pacific’s most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.

MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence 1H 2014

H1 2014 Current Status Change from last half
Asia/Pacific 68.3 Optimistic 6.9 Some Improvement
Australia 37.2 Pessimistic -12.0 Significant Deterioration
Bangladesh 66.4 Optimistic 25.9 Extreme Improvement
China 82.6 Very Optimistic 6.7 Some Improvement
Hong Kong 54.4 Neutral + 1.0 Stable +
India 89.1 Very Optimistic 5.8 Some Improvement
Indonesia 94.0 Extremely Optimistic 11.3 Significant Improvement
Japan 51.8 Neutral + 6.9 Some Improvement
Korea 41.9 Neutral – -7.0 Some Deterioration
Malaysia 61.4 Optimistic 7.0 Some Improvement
Myanmar 94.1 Extremely Optimistic -0.6 Stable –
New Zealand 65.8 Optimistic 10.8 Significant Improvement
Philippines 69.4 Optimistic -5.3 Some Deterioration
Singapore 60.6 Optimistic 13.2 Significant Improvement
Taiwan 57.6 Neutral + 24.6 Extreme Improvement
Thailand 86.6 Very Optimistic 14.6 Significant Improvement
Vietnam 80.3 Very Optimistic 7.0 Some Improvement

Methodology

Respondents were asked five questions pertaining to their six-month outlook on the economy, employment prospects, the local stock market, their regular income prospects and their quality of life. The results of their responses were converted in five component indexes which were subsequently averaged to form the MasterCard Index™ of Consumer Confidence (MICC) score. The MICC Index score and the five component index scores range from 0 – 100 where zero represents maximum pessimism, 100 represents maximum optimism and 50 represents neutrality.

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