NZ outlook remains optimistic for six months ahead: MasterCard
New Zealanders’ are approaching next six months with a positive frame of mind
Auckland, 8 June, 2010 – New Zealanders are approaching the next six months with a strong sense of optimism, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence survey.
While New Zealand’s consumer confidence outlook has dipped slightly on where it was six months ago (65.9 vs. 69.7), they
are three times more optimistic than a year ago (65.9 vs. 21.5 a year ago), and, perhaps surprisingly, this confidence has
been led by those under the age of 30.
“The Index showed that for the six months ahead, it is the younger New Zealanders who are the most optimistic (77.2 vs.
61.8 for those over 30) ,” says Stuart McKinlay, country manager New Zealand, MasterCard Worldwide.
Now in its 18th year, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is the region’s most comprehensive
and longest running consumer confidence survey. Released twice a year, the Index is based on a survey which measures consumer
confidence on prevailing expectations in the market for the next six months based on five economic indicators: Economy,
Employment, Stock Market, Regular Income and Quality of Life. The Index score is calculated with zero as the most
pessimistic, 100 as most optimistic and 50 as neutral. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard
Stuart McKinlay said New Zealanders indicated they were most optimistic about jobs for the six months ahead, with
Employment (74.1 vs. 72.6 six months ago) and Regular Income (71.3 vs. 66.7) both continuing to improve from six months
“These improvements come off the back of positive unemployment statistics which – for the first time in two years – fell
in the March quarter possibly signalling that the worst effects of the global financial crisis are behind us.
“The consumer confidence numbers also go some way to explaining the growth in transactions and spend we are seeing
reported by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Statistics NZ over the past months.
“Both the number of electronic transactions and their value are now beginning to grow after a sustained period of
consolidation. It’s likely this is being fed by this strong year-on-year increase in consumer sentiment.”
Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor, Asia/Pacific, MasterCard Worldwide said, “The Asia/Pacific region rebounded in
economic growth as early as the second half of last year, and regional recovery has continued to gain traction this year.
While consumers in this region were amongst the first to cut back drastically on discretionary spending 18 months ago, they
now seem confident and ready to significantly increase their discretionary expenditures and reduce their precautionary
savings. This stability of consumer confidence and rising consumption in Asia/Pacific therefore bodes well for stronger
business investment through the rest of the year, thereby contributing to the momentum of recovery.”
The latest survey was conducted from 15 March to 12 April 2010 and involved 10,503 consumers from 24 markets2 .
Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire
translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary1.
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 over 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
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 15 March to 12 April 2010. A
total of 10,503 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 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 22 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. Follow us on Twitter:@mastercardnews.