Australia’s Retail Sales Likely to Eclipse That of New Zealand
Auckland, 20 February 2008 - Retail sales in New Zealand are set to grow by an estimated 2.4 per cent in the first half of 2008, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Retail.This year-on-year growth forecast will see New Zealand reaching NZ$18.9 billion in total sales value for the first half of 2008. The MasterCard survey reveals that although increased activity is forecast for the retail sector across New Zealand, retailers are expected to see a slowdown from the growth seen in the second half of 2007, when year-on-year growth was 4.8 per cent. “In New Zealand while the momentum of economic growth is slowing rapidly, interest rates are rising, which in turn are affecting retail sales,” said Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor, MasterCard Worldwide. “This 1.5 per cent decrease against the previous year can be largely attributed to higher consumer prices growth and lower private consumption growth.” This is set against the backdrop of the results of the recent MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence for New Zealand which dropped 0.8 points to 56.3 points. Outlook on regular income, employment, the economy and stock market were positive, however the quality of life indicator saw a dip. Meanwhile, across the ditch, the forecast growth in retail sales for Australia is 4.5 per cent on the previous year, valued at A$100.2 billion for the first half of 2008. The expected increase in inflation and mounting pressure on the Australian agriculture commodity sector will have an effect on overall growth in 2008. According to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forecast figures released by the Treasury, Australia will see real GDP slow from 4.25% in 2007 to 3.5% in 2008. The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence for Australia dipped 3.4 points to 64.9 in this survey. Gains were seen in the outlooks on quality of life but regular income, with outlooks on stock market, employment and economy were conversely quiet. Conducted twice a year in June and December, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Retail was launched in June 2003 by MasterCard as part of the company's knowledge leadership initiatives in Asia/Pacific. Combining 10 years of retail sales data , factoring in the secular trend of growth of the retail industry, and using the MasterCard Worldwide IndexTM of Consumer Confidence as an independent variable , the Index provides six-month forecasts of retail sales growth in 12 markets: Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. As with the forecasts for New Zealand and Australia, the forecast is for positive expansion across the whole of Asia/Pacific for the first half of 2008, although at differing rates. China maintains its lead with retail sales anticipated to reach 4476 billion yuan, representing a 12.8 per cent year on year growth, over five times the rate of New Zealand.
The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Retail’s forecast for the second half of 2008 is shown in the table below.
(*excludes hospitality, catering and auto sales)
(**excludes hospitalityand catering, includes auto sales)
(*** includes wholesale hospitality catering, auto sales) NOTE TO EDITORS: The full report, as well as the MasterIndex of Consumer Confidence, can be found at the website www.masterintelligence.com. A summary of the individual market forecasts is found at the end of this release.
The MasterIndex of Retail is among the MasterCard MasterIndex suite of research products; the others include:
About MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Retail
The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Retail3 is a short-term forecast of retail sales growth in 12 key Asia/Pacific markets – Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. The forecasting is conducted twice a year, in June and December, providing powerful predictive market intelligence that is highly relevant not only to wholesale and retail industries, but also to sectors such as entertainment, food and beverage, the hospitality and leisure industry, as well as consumer goods manufacturing.
The analytical foundation of the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Retail is based on the development of a set of techniques that have successfully linked the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence with retail sales statistics. The survey findings of the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence are used as a leading indicator of how consumers may act in terms of retail spending over the six-month period ahead. Thus, a link is made between consumer sentiment and actual consumer behavior.
The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Retail forecast is one of the MasterCard Worldwide Index suite of research products in Asia/Pacific. The other key MasterIndex research products include:
MasterCard Worldwide Index information relates to retail and consumer economic trends only and does not constitute a projection of the business or financial performance of MasterCard Incorporated or its affiliates
About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 18 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to http://www.mastercard.com.
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