Spending on Fitness and Wellness and Education Most Resilient to Cutbacks
New Zealand, 7 July 2009: The mantra Eat, Drink and Be Merry is holding strong among New Zealand consumers, as it is across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. According to the MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities released today, New Zealanders are expecting Dining and Entertainment (79%) to be their top spending priority for the next six months. It took top spot in the previous survey released in December 2008 and topped the list for discretionary spend in 18 of the 211 markets across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
In New Zealand, Dining and Entertainment was followed by spending on Fashion and Accessories (55%) and Fitness and Wellness (53%).
"Similar to the results at the end of 2008, Kiwis continue to prioritise Dining and Entertainment as their top discretionary spend category. Despite the economic outlook, it still looks like people will continue to undertake some activities as a treat or a way to unwind," said New Zealand Country Manager, MasterCard Worldwide, Stuart McKinlay.
Among the 10 main categories included in the MasterCard survey, spend on Fitness and Wellness is expected to be the least prone to cutbacks in New Zealand, followed by spend on Own Education and Children's Extra-Curricular Activities/Private Tuition2 , revealed the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience, which is based on the survey findings.
The MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, released twice yearly, provides valuable insights into consumer's discretionary spending priorities for the six months ahead. The latest survey was conducted from 23 March to 18 April 2009 and involved 9,211 consumers from 21 markets. Data collection was via personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary.
The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience measures the resilience of the top planned expenditure categories of 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 Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard financial performance.
The survey also found that the majority of consumers surveyed in New Zealand (46%) are planning to decrease their discretionary spend for the second half of the year compared to what it was in the last six months.
Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor, Asia/Pacific, MasterCard Worldwide said, "The global recession does not appear to have a serious impact on the urban middle class in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region compared with previous recessions. Private consumption is holding up well in the region; and in many markets consumers are either planning to maintain or increase their discretionary spending in the next six months. Everything else being equal, the latest findings in consumer purchasing priorities are very positive for a stronger outlook of domestic consumption going forward, in spite of persistent uncertainty in the global economy."
Market highlights include:
Consumer Purchasing Priorities for the Second Half of 2009
Resilience to Cutbacks on Spend
The following graph shows the percentage of people spending in the corresponding category in the next six months (blue) and the Index Score of consumer spending resilience (red).
This graph represents responses from Asia/Pacific (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam).
*To maintain the statistical robustness of the Index, a Resilience Index Score is presented only if a category received a market response of 30% or more
More information on the Index can be found at the website
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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 approximately 21 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and 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 www.mastercard.com.