Bangladeshi consumers very optimistic: Mastercard survey | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 17, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:14 AM, August 17, 2017

Bangladeshi consumers very optimistic: Mastercard survey

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Bangladesh is the third most optimistic market in the Asia Pacific thanks to consumers' positive outlook on stockmarket, jobs and income, according to the Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence released yesterday.

In the first half of 2017, the country's score in the index rose 6.6 points to 89.4 compared to the second half of 2016.

The index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, with zero being the most pessimistic, 100 the most optimistic and between 40 and 60 being neutral.

With the increase, Bangladesh moved further into the 'very optimistic' territory, with improvement in all five components that made up the index.

Cambodia leads the region as the most optimistic market with 93.1 points. Vietnam (90.8), the Philippines (88.8) and China (88.2) rounded off the top five.

This is the most comprehensive and longest running survey of its kind in the region. 

Between April and June, 9,153 respondents, aged 18 to 64 in 18 Asia Pacific markets, were asked to give a six-month outlook on the economy, employment prospects, the local stockmarket, their regular income prospects and their quality of life.

Bangladesh saw the biggest jump in the stockmarket sub-index, as its point rose to 74.9 in the first half of 2017 from 59.9 in the second half of 2016.

The country witnessed a 7.2-point increase to 93.7 on the outlook on employment prospects while the points rose by 6.8 to 95.7 on the regular income prospects.

  

The outlook on the quality of life improved by 3.9 points to 91.4 while outlook on the economy rose 0.1 points to 91.3 in the first half of 2017 compared to the second half last year.

Overall consumer confidence in Asia Pacific has shown marginal change with some economies facing headwinds, said Syed Mohammad Kamal, country manager of Mastercard Bangladesh. But the region's emerging markets such as Cambodia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and the Philippines increased resilience with consumers expressing optimism about economic prospects over the next six months.

“Even as emerging Asia continues to drive the region's growth, governments and businesses need to ensure stability and strong fundamentals in order to weather future external shocks,” Kamal said in a statement.

Across the Asia Pacific, overall consumer confidence stays buoyed in optimistic territory at 66.9 points, a slight improvement from 62.7 points six months ago.

The 4.2 point increase in confidence was mainly driven by a bullish outlook on the stockmarket and employment. Consumer sentiment remains stable in 11 out of the 18 Asia Pacific markets.

Boosted by heightened expectations in its economic performance, South Korea has recorded the largest improvement in consumer confidence in Asia Pacific.

Optimism in South Korea at its highest level since 1995 and the market's meteoric leap in sentiment have propelled it from pessimistic territory to very optimistic territory over the last six months.

Likewise, Singapore and Malaysia also saw significant leaps in confidence.

Meanwhile, India continues to stay in a very optimistic territory with 86 points, despite posting the region's largest decline of 9.3 points.

The Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence survey has an over 20-year track record of consumer confidence indices collected from over 200,000 interviews, unequalled both in scope and history across Asia Pacific.

The survey began in the first half of 1993 and has been conducted twice a year since. 

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