Emerging Consumer Survey 2018: India Tops the Ranking Again
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Emerging Consumer Survey 2018: India Tops the Ranking Again

The Credit Suisse Research Institute has published its eighth Emerging Consumer Survey, the annual report on consumer trends in emerging markets. While Asia continues to show the strongest consumer sentiment, significant improvements can be seen across all EM geographies surveyed.

According to the CSRI report, which is based on 14,000 face-to-face interviews conducted in eight EM countries, the Asia-driven consumption trend – predominant in previous years – is changing. While India, China, and Indonesia remain the leaders of the survey, consumers in Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and Turkey expressed much greater optimism about their income prospects than last year. This improvement has been reflected in our emerging consumer scorecard, with Turkey taking fifth place and sending South Africa to the end of the ranking.

Emerging Consumer Scorecard 2018

Rankings (6-12 month horizon) Personal finances Inflation expectations Time for a major purchase Income expectations Income history 2018 Rank   2017 Rank
India 1 6 1 2 1 1 1
China 2 3 2 4 3 2 3
Indonesia 5 5 3 1 2 3 2
Brasil 3 2 8 3 8 4 4
Turkey 7 1 7 7 4 5 6
Mexico 4 7 5 6 7 6 6
Russia 8 4 4 8 6 7 6
South Africa 6 8 6 5 5 8 5

Source: Credit Suisse Emerging Consumer Survey 2018

Different Structural Drivers

The findings of this year's Emerging Consumer Survey point to a number of factors contributing to the overall positive mood of consumers in emerging economies. Better demographic trends, urbanization, and growing income are the key determinants, and main differences between emerging markets and the mature economies. As a result, the middle class has been rapidly rising and the consumption share of GDP in emerging markets has doubled since 2000.

Younger Generation

The role played by the younger generation in emerging economies contrasts markedly with its counterpart in developed economies. In the latter, a "millennial disadvantage" has been observed, comprising rising house prices, increased income inequality, and lower income mobility, among other things. This has contributed to a more cautious consumption style. By contrast, the younger generation in emerging markets is the most active consumer group, with rising spending power and a positive income outlook.

Savings Behavior

As confirmed by the findings of the Global Wealth Report 2017, emerging markets are accumulating wealth faster than their developed peers. Between 2000 and 2017, emerging economies nearly doubled their share of global wealth from 11 percent to 19 percent, with their portion estimated to reach 22 percent in the next five years. This revelation inspired the authors of the Emerging Consumer Survey to look into the ways in which this growing wealth is held and invested. For each of the countries surveyed, the authors detail which savings channels our respondents typically use (e.g. bank accounts, life insurance products, stock market, mutual funds, gold/jewelry, property, etc.) The level of sophistication in savings differs across countries.

In addition to the topics outlined above, this year's edition of the Emerging Consumer Survey takes a detailed look at the following: demographics in EM and their impact on consumers; online retail; real and virtual sport; healthcare; mobility trends; wealth accumulation and spending patterns.