As the most optimistic market in Asia Pacific, India tops the Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence rankings with Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines and Bangladesh rounding off the top five. The overall consumer confidence in Asia Pacific continues to be 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 indicates some significant movements across five markets compared to six months ago. Hong Kong, Thailand and Bangladesh saw more than 10 points improvement while Malaysia and Taiwan saw decreases more than 10 points.
Bangladesh recorded the largest gain of 11.2 points to 82.8 points, a significant improvement in the overall consumer confidence compared to the first half of 2016 where it saw a relatively smaller increase of 4.2 points. The country’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 fall 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 were the key driver of the decline.