New Zealand’s outlook more positive for next six months
Auckland, 19 January, 2010 - Kiwis are approaching the next six months with more optimism than at any time during the past two years, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence.
NOTE TO EDITORS: This news release is distributed with an accompanying chart that shows current MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence scores by market compared with several significant points in the history of the survey.
NEW ZEALAND (69.7)
After a year and a half of pessimistic scores, consumer confidence in New Zealand picks up to its highest peak, up from six months ago (21.5) and a year ago (33.7).
Consumer sentiments across the Economy (81.4 vs. 19.7), the Stock Market (76.6 vs. 25.0), Employment (72.6 vs. 6.8), Regular Income (66.7 vs. 40.0) and Quality of Life (51.1 vs. 15.9) have improved significantly.
Australians are optimistic in their outlook for the next six months. Their Index score is much higher than that of six months ago (24.1) and a year ago (49.0).
Consumers are much more optimistic than they were six months ago about the Stock Market (79.9 vs. 41.0 six months ago), the Economy (78.3 vs. 18.3), Regular Income (68.0 vs. 37.1), Employment (65.2 vs. 9.6) and Quality of Life (56.2 vs. 14.3).
About the MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence
The MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Consumer Confidence survey has a 17-year track record of consumer confidence indices collected from no less than 200,000 interviews, unequalled both in scope and history across Asia/Pacific.
The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the most comprehensive and longest running survey of its kind in the region. In June 1997, the Index revealed a decline in consumer confidence – one month prior to the devaluation of the Thai baht that triggered the regional economic crisis. In June 2003, the Index score for Employment in Hong Kong dropped to a low of 20.0. This was subsequently reflected in Hong Kong’s unemployment rate, which peaked just before September 2003 at eight percent.
The survey comprising the Asia/Pacific markets began in the first half of 1993 and has been conducted twice yearly since. Markets from the Middle East and Africa were included in the Index from 2004. Twenty-four markets now participate in the survey: Australia, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The last MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey was conducted from 1 October to 9 November 2009. A total of 10,623 qualified respondents were surveyed in the 24 markets with the sample being representative of the middle and upper income groups in each market. In each market except China and India, 400 or more people were surveyed. A minimum sample size of 800 was collected from China and India.
The Index is calculated based with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral. Five economic factors are measured: Employment, the Economy, Regular Income, Stock Market and Quality of Life. The responses are consumers' thoughts on the six months ahead. Data collection was via personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points at the 90 percent confidence level, except China and India where because of the larger sample, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties
The MasterCard Worldwide Index suite of research products in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the flagship MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, and the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience, both of which are released six monthly, and MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, which is released annually.
Besides these, MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports; the series represents in part its ongoing research and analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 70 Insights reports have been produced since 2004. MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by its Asia/Pacific economist, Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong and published by John Wiley & Sons.
The MasterCard Indexes and Insights reports are available at www.masterintelligence.com
About MasterCard WorldwideMasterCard 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.