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THAI CONSUMERS NOW MORE CONFIDENT OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY BRIC & ASIAN CONSUMERS MOST OPTIMISTIC…AND SET TO LEAD THE WORLD OUT OF GLOBAL RECESSION

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Bangkok--4 Aug--Nielsen
Consumer confidence in Thailand is on the rebound, climbing 5 index points from 81 in March 2009 to 86 in the second quarter, according to a Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey released today.

Conducted in 28 markets in June 2009, the latest survey revealed that global consumer confidence has increased 5 points from 77 in its March 2009 survey to 82 in the second quarter. According to the Nielsen survey, confidence is also on the increase globally - spurred by renewed consumer optimism and stock market gains in BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India & China) and key Asian countries.

“In the previous Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence survey conducted in March 2009, we were seeing the first signs that as far as the world’s consumers were concerned, the recession had bottomed out. Three months later, they’re starting to embrace the idea of recovery – which is a major turning point,” said Aaron Cross, Managing Director, The Nielsen Company, Thailand

“Thai consumers also share this sentiment, with 84 percent thinking their economy was in recession – a positive reduction of seven points from a high of 91 percent when the survey ran in March 2009. 28 percent of Thai consumers now think the recession will be over within a year, up from 24 percent who thought so three months ago,” added Cross.

The BRIC and Asian markets have recorded the greatest jumps in Consumer Confidence Indices in the past three months including India (+13 Index points) Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Indonesia (+9 Index points) Taiwan and Brazil (+8 Index points) Singapore, Turkey, Russia, Philippines and the UK (+7 Index points), and Thailand (+5 Index points) . The only exceptions to this upswing were in the USA and New Zealand, which held flat in the second quarter, with Germany the only country to register a decline of one Index point.

Thai consumers have also become more optimistic about local job prospects, with 27 percent perceiving them to be “Good” and “Excellent” compared with 15 percent three months ago.
Saving continues to be the main priority for Thai consumers

After covering essential living expenses, Putting Money into Savings continues to be the main priority for more than half of Thai consumers (53%). Vacations (43%) and Retirement Funds (27%) were the second and third most popular spending options for Thais.

The Economy continues to be the major concern for Thai consumers (49%) in the next six months followed by Job Security (26%), Debt (20%) and Increasing Fuel Prices (19%).
In another consumer report conducted in May 2009, Nielsen surveyed over 2,000 respondents in Thailand aged 15+ about their shopping behavior and lifestyles in the past six months.
What product categories are being left out of the basket & what have been added?

The Nielsen report reveals that Thai consumers have been reprioritizing their shopping list -- cutting out less essential items such as frozen food, non-staple groceries including cigarettes and alcoholic beverages as well as clothing, from their shopping list. Despite a more cautious approach to spending, the Nielsen survey found opportunities for staple foods, non-alcoholic beverages, personal care and telecommunication during recession.

Thais’ lifestyles have also changed. They are reducing their expenses on entertainment and nightlife. While staying home becomes the new trend, consumers are cooking more ‘from scratch’ and cutting back on eating out and out of home activities such as shopping and traveling.

Shopping lest often, but spending more per trip

The trend to stay home is also impacting Thai consumers’ shopping frequency. According to Nielsen ShopperTrends 2009, Thais have cut back their trips to the traditional Trade, Convenience Stores, Wet Markets and Supermarkets, while shopping frequency at Hypermarkets remained unchanged.

According to Nielsen Homescan, the average household shopping frequency slightly decreased from 79.7 times in 2007 to 79.2 times in 2008, leading to a higher average spend per trip, increased by 3.9% in 2008 compared to 2007. (Table4)


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