Asia tops consumer confidence index

30 October 2014

ASIA-PACIFIC: Asian countries occupied the top four slots in the latest Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index and six of the top ten, with India leading the way as the most bullish consumer market.

The overall index, based on an online survey covering more than 30,000 consumers across 60 markets, rose one point in the third quarter to 98.

India's index reading of 126 for the third quarter was slightly down on the Q2, while Indonesia had advanced two points to 125. The Philippines was among those registering a sharp drop in confidence, down five points, but it was still a very optimistic nation on an index of 115.

In fourth place, Thailand had surged eight points to 113. China, in sixth place, was steady on 111, while Hong Kong added four points to reach 107, putting it in eighth place.

Some of the larger Asian economies, however, remained well below the worldwide average. South Korea, for one, had slipped back one point to 52, keeping it firmly in the bottom ten and only three places above Italy, the most pessimistic country in the world.

Japan, however, had added four points, pushing its index reading up to 77. Simultaneously, new data showed industrial output growing 2.7% in September, heralding a possible recovery in domestic demand following a near doubling of the country's consumption tax back in April.

The sense of a resurgence in confidence among Japanese consumers was also noted by Milton Pedraza, CEO of New York's Luxury Institute, who said that top-end brands were looking again at this market.

"I think China has slowed down and the protests in Hong Kong and the Russian issues have made brands re-examine their priorities," he told Luxury Daily.

"It is an extremely wealthy country," he added. "I think brands are renewing their strong interest in Japan and not letting it stagnate and reinventing themselves for the more modern Japanese consumer."

Data sourced from Reuters, Japan Times, Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff