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Survey: Asia-Pacific retail sales growth remains healthy


September 21, 2008

Survey: Asia-Pacific retail sales growth remains healthy
Retail sales across Asia-Pacific are predicted to continue their strong showing for the second half of 2008 despite growing concerns surrounding the international financial market unrest, according to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Index™ of Retail recently released by MasterCard.

All 12 Asia-Pacific markets are expected to continue seeing positive growth in retail sales, with China taking the lead once again as it did in the same reporting period last year, reported the Philippines daily Manila Bulletin.

Retail sales in China are estimated to reach 5566 billion Yuan, representing a sturdy 18.0 percent year-on-year growth. The outlook for Hong Kong continues to be bullish, with year on year growth predicted at 12.7 percent.

Other markets with strong growth set against the backdrop of subdued economic outlook include Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines, with year-on-year growth expected to reach 12.0 percent, 9.3 percent and 8.6 percent respectively.

On the other hand, markets which continue to remain less bullish as during the last reporting period include Taiwan, New Zealand and Japan, with a year-on-year growth still present but expected to reach 2.9 percent, 2.5 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively.

"In spite of the global slowdown and its impacts on Asia, employment and income remain relatively strong in the region; supporting consumer spending.

The projected growth in retail sales needs to be put in perspective by taking account of the rise in inflation in most markets in Asia; which means that in real terms the projected growth is less robust than indicated," noted Dr Yuwa Hedrick Wong, economic advisor, MasterCard Worldwide.

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