Asians worried about the economy, reports GfK

Survey by GfK shows increasing concerns about the economy, unemployment, and inflation amongst consumers in the Asia Pacific region.

Copyright Nicole Victor, 2012

Much has been said in Malaysia about rising debt, unaffordable housing and increasing prices. It would appear, in a recent global survey done by GfK, that the whole Asia Pacific region is concerned about job losses, inflation and recession.

GfK polled over 40,000 consumers around the globe which includes 11 countries within the Asia Pacific region on various topics. Two out of every 5 respondents expressed concern about money, employment and the economy.

“Consumers in Singapore (65%), Thailand (55%), China (51%) and Indonesia (39%) expressed their greatest anxiety towards inflation; those in Taiwan (57%), Korea (51%) and Japan are mostly worried about recession and unemployment…

The survey also revealed that consumers have been treading carefully when it comes to their regular expenses as seen in their conscious reduction in spending on various aspects of their life. In their effort to cut cost, the first that most often will be struck off from their list of regular activities is dining out at restaurants, something which over a third (34%) of respondents said they have done in the past 12 months. Nearly a quarter (23%) also stated buying less clothing and shoes.”

The report quoted Regional Director for GfK Consumer Trends, Jodie Roberts who emphasised that merchants could benefit from this trend, not simply by offering low priced products and services but to provide real value to customers.

“An important point for companies to note is that these behaviors remain even as the economic environment improves, and thus companies which are able to deliver on value – which is not necessarily about lowest price – will benefit from this consumer trend,” Roberts concluded.

Respondents to the study also shared ways through which they saved money: using coupons, using less or going without an item, shopping at discount stores, purchasing energy-saving products, buying in bulk to get greater discounts, switching to cheaper brands, etc.

Besides economic concerns, crime and lawlessness also rank among the top four worries in the region, particularly in Malaysia (67%), Vietnam (55%) and India (51%). With the recent shootings, bombings and acid splashing – it’s no wonder Malaysians topped the others on this issue.

*Picture courtesy of Nicole Victor.


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