Indonesian shoppers in buoyant mood

15 August 2012

JAKARTA: Consumer confidence has reached a record high in Indonesia, a country seen as holding considerable potential for brand owners.

KADIN, the chamber of commerce, and Roy Morgan, the research group, polled 1,988 adults in 21 cities, as well as smaller towns and rural villages. The resulting index returned a reading of 150.5 points, where 100 represents neutral sentiment.

This constituted an increase from 145.2 points in June 2012 and a lift from 142.9 points in July 2011. More broadly, it marked the best returns since figures were first collected in January 2011.

Similarly, an unprecedented 46% of contributors agreed that their household financial situation had got better during the past 12 months, whereas only 12% said conditions had worsened.

Looking ahead a year, 67% of interviewees predicted their circumstances would improve further, another new record high. Just 4% of participants took the opposite view.

When discussing the economy as a whole, 79% of the sample anticipated Indonesia will have "good times", standing at 89% for the next five years, according to the analysis.

In keeping with the overall trend, 57% of Indonesians agreed "now is a good time to buy" major household items, surpassing the previous best score on this metric, which was the 56% logged in January.

Elsewhere, 38% of the panel believed it was currently a "bad time" to make such acquisitions, down from 44% month on month and 46% year on year.

The country's GDP expanded by 6.4% in the last quarter, and 6.3% in the opening three months of the year, a pace of growth Bank Indonesia, the nation's central bank, expects to remain largely constant in 2012.

"At a time when our GDP growth rate saw an upward revision, consumer confidence was bubbling up as well to a new record high during the month of July," said Suryo Sulisto, chairman of KADIN.

"This is phenomenal, but is no mere coincidence. While global gloom is taking its toll on China and India, Indonesia continues to swim against the tide."

As is the case with consumer confidence and the domestic economy, expenditure rates in Indonesia are increasing rapidly.

"The aggregate of private consumption and government spending is up 7.1% year on year," Su Sian Lim, an economist at HSBC, said. "It's the fastest pace we've seen since the end of 2008 and is definitely the engine behind the growth numbers."

Data sourced from Roy Morgan; additional content by Warc staff