New Zealand Consumers Among Top Three Most Resilient in Asia/Pacific
Auckland, 18 February 2009 - While New Zealanders are overall tightening their belts in 2009 and cutting back on spend, national consumer spending on fitness and wellness is set to hold up even in these uncertain economic times, according to the latest Index from MasterCard Worldwide.
The results of the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience show that fitness and wellness, with a Resilience Index score of 79, is the category that is most resilient to spending cutbacks among those Kiwis who said they would purchase this type of service in the next six months.
This was slightly higher than the overall Asia/Pacific Resilience Index score (78), and the third highest in the region following India (90) and China (88).
The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience measures the resilience of the top planned expenditure categories of Asia/Pacific consumers to spending cutbacks. The Index is derived from the following data - the categories of goods and services that consumers would spend on in the coming six months, how important each of these categories is to consumers and if they would cut back on their discretionary spending over the next six months.
The minimum index score of zero indicates that consumers who plan to purchase from this category do not deem the category as important, making the category extremely vulnerable to any spending cutbacks over the next six months. A maximum score of 100 indicates that consumers who plan to purchase from this category rate the category as very important, making the category extremely resilient to any spending cutbacks over the next six months. The survey covers 6,019 consumers across 14 markets, and was conducted between 1 and 29 September 2008. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance
New Zealanders also demonstrated high resilience in spending on Personal Travel (74), the second highest in the Asia/Pacific region following China (75).
"It is not surprising to see that spending on fitness and wellness, such as gym memberships, exercise classes and visiting health food stores, is important to New Zealanders as they are known for their love of the outdoors, sports and generally healthy lifestyles," said Stuart McKinlay, country manager New Zealand, MasterCard Worldwide.
"The research shows that New Zealanders view spending on categories such as fitness and wellness and personal travel, which rates second, as more important categories than, say, fashion and accessories, where we scored a lower Resilience Index (38). We will be interested to see whether this category retains its inelasticity in these uncertain times."
In terms of general purchasing resilience, the Resilience Index score for consumers across Asia/Pacific is 67, with consumption priorities in China (Resilience Index score: 81) being the most resilient in Asia/Pacific, followed by those in Japan (76), Indonesia and India (74 each).
MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties
The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Resilience is the latest addition to the MasterCard Worldwide Index suite of research products in Asia/Pacific. The other key MasterCard Worldwide Index research products include the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Priorities, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women's Advancement, the MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce and the MasterCard Worldwide Emerging Markets Index.
Besides the suite of Indexes put forth by MasterCard, MasterCard also develops Insights reports as part of its series of ongoing research and analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific region. Sixty-three reports have been produced since 2004.The suite of Indexes and reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.
Asia/Pacific Highlights (please refer to Appendix 1 for detailed table):