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Asian consumer spending holding up

News, 03 July 2009

SINGAPORE: Discretionary consumer spending across Asia-Pacific over the next six months is expected to match levels set during the first half of the year, according to a new survey across the region by MasterCard.

The financial brand's Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey identified dining and entertainment as top of the spending plans for 69% of respondents in 18 of the 21 markets covered.

Asia's larger economies were found to be most buoyant, with 70% of Chinese and 63% of Japanese consumers looking to maintain their current outlay on non-essential purchasing for the rest of the year. India, meanwhile, reported the highest number of consumers who were actually planning to up their discretionary spend.

After dining entertainment, fashion came second, identified by 49% of consumers as their main area of voluntary spending, followed by fitness at 36% and electronics at 34%.

Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, an economic advisor to Mastercard, said the global recession "does not appear to have a serious impact on the urban middle class in the region compared with previous recessions."

The worldwide downturn, he suggested, "does not appear to have a serious impact on the urban middle class in the region compared with previous recessions."

The survey included China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as Australia and New Zealand, South Africa and parts of the Middle East.

Data sourced from Media; additional content by WARC staff