ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Consumer confidence plummets to four-year low as stocks crash

Domestic outlook deteriorated sharply in 2H15.

Consumer confidence in the Asia Pacific region dropped to its lowest level since 2012 in the second half of 2015, dragged by escalating stock market volatility and the increasingly bleak employment outlook across the region.

The latest MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence dropped to 59.7 points in the second half, with 12 of the 17 markets under coverage seeing a deterioration in confidence levels. 

For instance, consumer confidence in Singapore plunged to 44.3 points, marking an extreme deterioration from 65.2 points in the first half. This reading moved Singapore from optimistic into neutral territory.

In Singapore, the decline was led by extreme deterioration in stock market sentiment, increased concern over the economy, and worries over employment prospects.

“The decline of consumer confidence in Asia Pacific reflects the continued uncertainty in the global economic environment. In particular, recent stock market turbulence has significantly impacted consumer outlook,” said Eric Schneider, Region Head, Asia Pacific, MasterCard Advisors.

The biggest decline in optimism levels was seen in Sri Lanka, followed by Singapore, and Taiwan. Meanwhile, people in the emerging markets of Myanmar, Vietnam and India however are extremely optimistic about economic prospects over the next six months, with Myanmar showing the biggest improvement.

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