Myanmar’s consumers show continued confidence; topping regional survey

Myanmar has once again topped the MasterCard consumer confidence index for Asia Pacific, while confidence for the region as a whole has fallen from the ten year high registered in the first half of 2014.

Emerging markets continue to show optimism in the results, Myanmar, India and Indonesia topping the index for the second half of 2014, MasterCard announced in a press release on January 15.

Mr Pierre Burret, a spokesman for MasterCard said the three nations “are the most optimistic because of either positive anticipation for a brighter future or excitement around their respective newly-minted governments.”

In the index; a score of 60 – 100 is considered as registering a positive outlook, 40-60 denotes a neutral position, and below 40 is regarded as a sense of pessimism.

Myanmar could barely be more optimistic, recording a score of 97.2 Index points, up again since the first half of the year when it tabled a result of 94.1 points.

“The Asia Pacific markets are optimistic overall despite a decrease of 2.9 Index points to 65.5 Index points in H2 2014, from 68.3 Index points in H1 2014,” said the release.

MasterCard measured its index by askingquestions of 8,235 respondents, aged 18 – 64 in 16 countries across Asia Pacific between October 2014 and November 2014.

Respondents were asked about their six-month outlook in five areas; the economy, their employment prospects, the local stock market, their regular income prospects, and their quality of life.

Myanmar’s neighbours Bangladesh registered the largest growth in consumer confidence since the previous survey; up 16.9 points to reach 83.3.

On the South East Asian peninsula Vietnam (85.3 Index points) and Thailand (83.6 Index points) remain very optimistic while Singapore hovers just above the optimistic boundary on 60.9 Index points.

Malaysia suffered a steep deterioration in consumer confidence, falling 11.5 Index points to 49.9 Index points, the first time it has dropped below the 50 point neutral mark since the low marked by the financial crisis in 2009.

Confidence in China rose slightly (up 2.7 Index points) to 85.3, but Northeast Asian markets Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong fall sharply, all sliding below the 50 point neutral mark they sat above in the first half of the year.

“The slight drop in Asia Pacific’s consumer confidence reflects an outlook of cautious optimism. Consumers across the region are holding their breath for signs of sustained economic growth and opportunity,” added Mr Burret.

This is the 44th survey of consumer confidence conducted by MasterCard since 1993.


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