Learn more about market trends Emerging Consumer Survey 2019
The survey examines eight major emerging economies with Thailand added as a new market replacing South Africa. The report provides unique bottom-up insights into specific end-markets, products and brand preferences, alongside overall barometers of confidence. With Asia at the center of the emerging consumer theme, India still tops our "scorecard" retaining a bright structural outlook, whereas global political tensions appear to be weighing on Chinese consumer behavior. Latin America's largest economies Brazil and Mexico show a newfound optimism among consumers in the aftermath of political ruptures whilst the continuing economic fallout from weak currencies and political risks in Russia and Turkey have led to reduced consumer confidence.
The emerging consumer in 2019
While Asia has been at the heart of the emerging consumer theme, the political rupture in Latin America’s largest economies has delivered a newfound optimism among consumers in Brazil and Mexico, and this provides the backdrop to the ninth edition of the Emerging Consumer Survey. India still tops our “scorecard,” retaining a bright structural outlook, but global political tensions are arguably weighing on the Chinese consumer. However, the weakest survey readings are to be found in Russia and Turkey, which are suffering the economic fallout from weak currencies and political risks. New to this survey, we analyze the perceptions of the Thai consumer.
The mood of the millennials
In past Emerging Consumer Surveys, we have analyzed consumer behavior largely from a theme perspective, such as healthy living and e-commerce. This year, we have decided to put the spotlight more on the younger emerging market consumer. The reason is that the young tend to matter more as they earn above-average wages compared to their peers in other regions and older consumers locally. We assess who is most optimistic and which consumer end-markets appear to be most attractive for the millennials. Overall, the picture that emerges indicates a greater appetite for spending on health and convenience-related lifestyle products at the expense of spending on big-ticket discretionary items. Young consumers in Brazil have the most optimistic expectations about income and finances. On the other hand, younger consumers in China show a more muted outlook.
India and China: Demographic drivers
With more than 2.7 billion people, India and China have a huge and growing market of consumers. Both markets have benefited from a demographic dividend over the last few decades, but each country is at a different stage – China is already at a demographically more advanced stage, while India remains at an early stage. Yet, with its working-age population soon to surpass that of China, India has better demographics for growth. China will have to rely on improved labor productivity and increased wealth growth to achieve higher consumption. Changes in demographics are important as they have implications for consumer trends. China’s aging population will spend differently than India’s large working population.
Emerging country themes
Here we take an in-depth look at Latin America, India, China and Indonesia. The country themes help to contextualize the survey readings and provide more insight into consumer spending patterns and their related drivers. There are common drivers of change that shape consumer behavior such as the increasing rate of internet and smartphone penetration. We look at the upswing in e-commerce in Latin America, changing consumer behavior of young consumers in India, consumer polarization in China, and the increasing focus on beauty and big-ticket purchases in Indonesia. Finally, we include a special section on Thailand describing an inflection point in the country’s consumption patterns.
In this section, we summarize key macro indicators and forecasts related to our survey countries. The forecasts provide added cyclical context to the structural trends in the report. We highlight, country by country, key indicators emerging from the survey focusing on the confidence indicators that feed into our scorecard, spending trends by category and also savings patterns.