Consumers across Asia Pacific are worried about their finances and the broader economy, and one-third are concerned about having enough money to pay their bills, a new survey says. This marks a big change in the once-optimistic region, which has had its confidence shaken by stock market drops and slowing growth in China.
The APAC consumer survey polled over 40,000 consumers over age 15 in 28 countries, including 11 from Asia Pacific. They averaged 1500 residents per country, and surveyed them on their attitudes, behaviors, and values.
40% of respondents were concerned about macro-economic problems, including high payment, recession, inflation, and unemployment.
23% of consumers reported buying fewer clothes and shoes.
GfK, the firm which conducted the survey, emphasized that conditions are improving overall.
“Economic conditions have in most cases stabilized, but there is a significant level of uneasiness around various areas,” according to Jodie Roberts, Regional Director for GfK.
Consumers in Singapore, Thailand, and China were particularly worried about inflation, and recession and unemployment were the biggest concerns in Taiwan and Korea. This reflects the different growth patterns of the economies.
Spending habits have changed in these countries, as consumers have had to reduce costs. 34% of respondents stated that they have stopped dining out entirely in the last year.
In China, the government has put big hopes for continued economic growth on increased consumer spending. However, GfK established that many consumers are implementing saving strategies, which would undermine the government’s goal.
Even when the economic environment improves, Roberts estimates that consumers will retain their financially conscious habits. But companies that can deliver on value will benefit from more conscientious consumers.