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Credit Suisse’s Emerging Consumer Survey 2019

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The Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI) published surprising results in their latest Emerging Markets Consumer Survey during this year’s 22nd Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong. The report, which revealed that consumers today praise India and place Brazil ahead of China, the world’s second largest economy, which bases itself off of 13,200 face-to-face interviews conducted by global market research firm Nielsen.

Here are our key takeaways.

Through an analysis of prospective incomes, consumer spending trends in growth opportunities and customer fortunes across Brazil, Russia, India, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey and Thailand, it was concluded that a healthy confidence exists amongst the majority of respondents looking into 2019 despite a “less-supportive cyclical backdrop in 2018” which significantly dampened emerging markets growth potential owing to the Fed increasing interest rates from 1.5% to 2.25% in 2018.

The study also focused on factors which significantly shape consumer behaviour such as increasing rates of internet and smart phone penetration. Examples included the e-commerce market in Latin America, considered an attractive growth opportunity on accounts of 360 million internet users to 600 million inhabitants, and India, singled out as a prime growth market for internet penetration despite the chartered reversal in household savings from equities into gold.

The enrichment of China, the world’s second largest economy, was spectacular. According to Credit Suisse’s separate Global Wealth Report, wealth per adult in China has multiplied by eleven times in since 2000. Despite this, the nation faces the risk of a collapse in consumption due to the stimulus package and recently announced tax reforms.

A section of the report was dedicated to Thailand’s inflection point in relation to a consumer spending behaviour which is significantly directing consumer behaviour from offline to online activities, cash-based to non-cash payments, and eat-out to dine-in options. Though worrying for traditional establishments, the change bodes well for Thailand’s burgeoning Fintech scene.

An increased focus was also brought towards the millennial demographic, known for its surprising nature. Whereas all markets displayed a favouring of fast-food delivery, health-orientated and lifestyle-convenience products despite their elevated cost, sentiment towards spending differed. Youth in Brazil, for example, were seen to have more upbeat expectations than their peers in China. The millennial demographics also noticed interest in healthier food choices being more prevalent in China and Indonesia but the least in Turkey and Russia.