Hong Kong's consumer confidence plunges amid career uncertainty

Consumer confidence in Hong Kong has tumbled drastically and reached its lowest since the past six months, according to the latest Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence report.

Calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, with zero as the most pessimistic, 100 as the most optimistic and 50 as neutral, the index saw consumer confidence dropping by 12.4 points to 32.1 in the first half of 2016, moving the Hong Kong market from neutral into pessimistic territory.

It also marks Hong Kong as the second most significant deterioration in Asia Pacific markets, with Indonesia (-14.7) ranking first and Singapore (-10.7) ranking third.

Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence Data – H1 2016

H1 2016 Current Status Change from last half
Asia Pacific 59.72 Neutral + 0.05 Stable +
Australia 42.2 Neutral - -0.1 Stable -
China 76.0 Very Optimistic 1.4 Stable +
Hong Kong 32.1 Pessimistic -12.4 Significant Deterioration
India 97.6 Extremely Optimistic 7.5 Some Improvement
Indonesia 61.8 Optimistic -14.7 Significant Deterioration
Japan 38.0 Pessimistic -8.8 Some Deterioration
Korea 34.2 Pessimistic 0.4 Stable +
Malaysia 41.4 Neutral - 9.5 Some Improvement
New Zealand 55.4 Neutral + 3.4 Stable +
Philippines 95.2 Extremely Optimistic 12.9 Significant Improvement
Singapore 33.6 Pessimistic -10.7 Significant Deterioration
Taiwan 45.3 Neutral - 16.3 Significant Improvement
Thailand 58.2 Neutral + -8.5 Some Deterioration
Vietnam 94.9 Extremely Optimistic 0.7 Stable +
Myanmar 99.8 Extremely Optimistic 4.0 Stable +
Bangladesh 71.6 Optimistic 4.3 Stable +
Sri Lanka 38.0 Pessimistic -4.2 Stable -

All of the five economic factors in Hong Kong, including the confidence on economy, regular income prospects, the stock market and consumers' quality of life declined, with outlook on employment (-20.9) contributing the most to the drop.

In comparison, overall consumer confidence in Asia Pacific holds steady, increasing by just 0.05 points to 59.72 in H1 2016 from 59.67 points in H2 2015. Taiwan recorded the largest gain back by an improvement in all components, the largest coming from heightened expectations in stock market movements.

China remained stable with a gain of 1.4 to 76.0, staying in the very optimistic category.

Seven out of 17 markets saw a deterioration in confidence levels compared to H2 2015.


Eric Schneider, senior vice president, Asia Pacific, Mastercard Advisors, said overall consumer confidence in Asia Pacific has shown marginal change with some economies facing headwinds, but the region’s emerging markets including China, India, Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines remain resilient 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," he said.

The MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence is based on a survey conducted between June and July 2016 on 8,746 respondents, aged 18 to 64, in 17 Asia Pacific markets.