Emerging Consumer Survey 2019

Report by Credit Suisse Research Institute; Summary of Report by Benedict Weerasena

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*Picture Credits: Credit Suisse Emerging Consumer Survey 2019

Credit Suisse Research Institute published the ninth edition of the Emerging Consumer Survey, a study that draws on the annual findings of detailed face-to-face interviews with 13,285 consumers across eight emerging economies (70% in urban areas; 30% in rural areas) which reflect a total of USD 10.7 trillion worth of consumption. The countries surveyed include Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Turkey and the newly added Thailand which broadens the analysis of the Asia region. 

With the aim of providing a granular analysis of the profile, mood and behavior of consumers who are becoming the dominant influence on global consumption, this survey provides valuable information for investors about the emerging markets’ ultimate spending including consumer environments, perceptions, financial situations, fears of inflation, and income momentum. The report was launched on the 25thof March at the 22nd Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.

Several interesting findings include: 

– Sentiments of most respondents confer a positive perspective even though there were some cyclical challenges in 2018.

– India retained its top position in consumption optimism with strong relative readings on most metrics including time for a major purchase and income history. This is due to improvements in infrastructure and its resilient economy which have been positive drivers. Also, the growth of internet peneration coupled with the reversal of the flow of household saving from equities into gold have contributed to the changing consumer behaviour of young respondents in India. 

– China, on the contrary relinquished second place to Brazil as it recorded a much lower income expectation, affected by the trade tensions with a tempering consumer confidence. However, overall consumer confidence remains high in absolute terms. 

Macro Momentum Scorecard
Source: Emerging Consumer Survey 2019

– Meanwhile, Brazil attains the top spot in terms of personal finances and inflation expectations with a new found optimism rapidly upgrading its consumption outlook

– Russia and Turkey ranked last among the eight countries due to weak currencies and political risks. Specifically, Turkey fell 3 spots from 5thto 8thafter coming in last in 4 categories, namely personal finances, time for a major purchase, income expectations and income history. 

Emerging Consumer Scorecard 2019
Source: Emerging Consumer Survey 2019

– Overall, millennials across the eight countries surveyed have indicated a reduction in their spending on big-ticket discretionary items and instead prioritised spending on health and convenience-related lifestyle products. 

– Specifically, millennials display the need to be active on the internet, a slower growth momentum for car ownership, an increase in appetite for a more convenient lifestyle and a greater passion to become healthier through eating healthily, playing sports and gym memberships. 

For more information, refer to the full report below:

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