After four consecutive quarters of slow and steady regional consumer confidence growth, the Asia-Pacific region ended 2014 with an index score of 106—down one point from the third quarter. While only three of 14 markets in the region registered quarterly confidence increases, nine of 14 countries remain at or above the 100-score optimism baseline.
Confidence in India (129) increased three points, posting the highest index in the region and of the 60 countries measured. Conversely, China’s index fell four points to 107 in the fourth quarter, which comes after one year locked at 111.
Malaysia reported the most dramatic consumer confidence decline in the region, falling 10 points to 89—marking the lowest score for the country since 2009. Confidence also declined five points in Indonesia (120) and four points each in Australia (93), Japan (73) and South Korea (48).
“In India, 2014 ended with the encouraging note of increased consumer confidence levels across all key indicators,” said Piyush Mathur, president, Nielsen India Region. “The trends in the finance sector also reflect this uptick in confidence, with credit card penetration rising, home loan disbursement higher than in the third quarter, and auto sales improved. The overall fast-moving consumer goods industry is looking to grow by double digits in 2015 based on lower inflation rates and increased consumer sentiment. Consumers are also hopeful for an improved economic environment with policies and reforms being set in place by the new government.”
“In Malaysia, the decline in confidence was expected, but the severity was more than anticipated,” said Richard Hall, country manager, Nielsen Malaysia. “It appears that consumers are turning their attention to the goods and service tax introduction due for implementation in April 2015 and its potential impact on prices and cost of living. This is contributing to uncertainty in a market where consumer good sales are flat and some retailers are stating negative like-for-like growths in stores.”
Other findings include:
For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Q4 2014 Global Consumer Confidence Report.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Nov. 10-28, 2014 and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The sub-Saharan African countries in this study are compiled from a separate mobile methodology survey among 1,600 respondents in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.