The report is based on the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, conducted between 13 to 31 May, which polled more than 29,000 online consumers in 58 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and North America, including 3,000 consumers in the six Southeast Asia countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Indonesia reported the highest index of 124, which is 30 points above the global average of 94. It was followed by the Philippines (121), Thailand (114), Malaysia (103), Vietnam (95) and Singapore (95).
Vishal Bali, managing director of Nielsen’s consumer insights business in Southeast Asia, North Asia and the Pacific, said this was driven by rising minimum wages and foreign investment, as well as more consumers entering the middle class.
The report says in most of Southeast Asia countries, consumer perceptions of personal finances for the year ahead have remained relatively stable over the past four quarters.
Again, Indonesians have the world’s most optimistic view on personal finances with 84 per cent considering their personal finances to be good or excellent, 30 points above the global benchmark of 54; followed by the Philippines (79 per cent), Thailand (69 per cent) and Malaysia (63 per cent).
On the other hand, 50 per cent of Singaporeans and 52 per cent Vietnamese were concerned about their future financial security.
The results also show 71 per cent of Indonesian consumers are saving their spare cash, compared to the global average of 47 per cent, followed by the Philippines (70 per cent), Vietnam (68 per cent), Thailand (63 per cent), Malaysia (61 per cent) and Singapore (60 per cent).
Bali said that with more disposable income than ever, consumers across Southeast Asia can now consider investing their money and bolstering their savings accounts, while protecting themselves against future fluctuations in the global economy and other external factors.
To spend spare cash, holidays and travel are top choices for Singaporeans (47 per cent), Malaysians (43 per cent), Thais (41 per cent) and Vietnamese (36 per cent).
New technology comes in second in demand across Southeast Asian markets, including Thailand (34 per cent), Vietnam (32 per cent), Indonesia (31 per cent) and the Philippines (31 per cent).
Overall, more than three in five consumers in the six Southeast Asian markets have reduced their spending on new clothes, out-of-home entertainment, and gas and electricity.
For more on Indonesia's hot economy, please see: