The great Asian confidence trick by Mastercard

July 27, 2006 at 7:50 am 1 comment

Every 6 months Mastercard launches it’s latest wave of The MasterIndex of Consumer Confidence, and every time they do it, I am full of admiration at their long-term commitment to this great corporate PR exercise. The MasterIndex is educational in several ways:

  • There is a real lack of long-term, time-series data in Asia, and without time-series data, you never really know where you are.
  • To run a corporate PR industry survey you really need to build it properly, package it well, and commit to it long-term
  • Research that looks ahead is usually more valuable and interesting than historic research
  • Simple research methodologies are often the best

They package and release the survey data all for free at their website MasterCard MasterIndex. The index measures consumer confidence across 13 Asian countries on prevailing expectation in the market for the next 6 months, and they’ve been doing it since 1993. That’s 27 waves of consistent data, which has become an invaluable resource for understanding the recent history of Asian consumers. For instance, here’s a snippet from this wave:

Region’s MasterIndex of Consumer Confidence stands at 57.4 indicating that consumers in the region as a whole are as they were in the preceding period (57.7), mildly or slightly optimistic. However, they are less optimistic than year ago (61.4) and historically (59.7). The region’s consumers are fairly optimistic on Regular Income (73.0) but are just slightly optimistic on Economy (54.9), Quality of Life (54.3) and Employment ( 52.9) and faintly so on the Stock Market (51.8).

There’s plenty of juicy flavor and analysis down to the country level, and they give you the full history back to 1993. Some key movements this period:

  • Hong Kong is on a real high (88.5) versus its average of 52 and crisis average of 17
  • Thailand has crashed to 29 from 60 a year ago, with all the political uncertainty there
  • Japan has risen to 69, from its average of 27
  • Korea has dipped to 28, almost as low as its crisis average of 26
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Entry filed under: all asia, media general.

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1 Comment Add your own

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