MasterCard International has announced the results of its second MasterIndex of Consumer Confidence survey conducted across the South Asia, Middle East and Africa Region (SAMEA). The survey shows a slight decrease in overall Indian consumer confidence rating, from 63.5 in February 2004 to 58 in August 2004, out of a possible index of 100.
Conducted bi-annually, the survey analyses consumer perceptions on economic conditions over the next six months in seven selected markets in the SAMEA region covering South Africa, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE and India. The scores are based on respondents’ answers to questions related to five factors like employment, economy, regular income, stock market and quality of life.
The fall in Indian consumer confidence is attributed to consumers being much less positive on three out of the five factors, namely, quality of life, economy and stock market. The index scores in these fall by 21%, 5.6% and 4.1% respectively. Regular income scores have also shown a slight dip of 0.6%. However, the sentiments on employment have improved slightly, moving up by 3.8%.
Announcing the results, Nitin Gupta, Vice-president and General Manager, MasterCard International, South Asia, said, “MasterIndex is a unique initiative that truly exemplifies MasterCard’s thought leadership in the global payments industry. The survey is a very interesting way of studying and understanding consumer sentiments across the region.” He explained that the MasterIndex survey helps member institutions understand their customers better as “it is a useful tool in anticipating future market trends and devising better business strategies.”
Of the seven countries researched in the region, Saudi Arabia has led the way with a highly optimistic score of 98.4, followed closely by Kuwait (90.6) and UAE (83.0). Overall consumer confidence in Egypt and Lebanon remains as low as the previous period with 37.0 and 32.5 scores respectively.
The second wave of MasterIndex research was conducted in August this year targeting a sample of 400 consumers in each market. In all, 2,845 respondents were surveyed. Consumer sentiment in the SAMEA region as a whole improved slightly, rising from 65.8 to 69.8 in the first half of 2004. This improvement is apparent in four out of the five MasterIndex factors, namely, economy, employment, stock market and regular income.