According to research conducted by Nielsen Indonesia, Indonesia's middle class is the world's most optimistic middle class segment in the second quarter of 2013. Indonesia leads the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions index with 124 points, followed by the Philippines (121 points) and India (118 points). The average global consumer index stands at 94 points. It is interesting to note that Asian countries top the index. The emerging Asia Pacific region is far above the 94-points average with 105 points.
The Nielsen index is based on several consumer confidence indicators, such as local employment prospects, consumerism and personal finance. Minimum wages have risen, annual economic growth is still around six percent and people's purchasing power is rising. Moreover, based on statistical data, Indonesian consumers tend to be more confident in the period around 6 to 12 months ahead of elections as elections always trigger increased consumption. In mid 2014, new presidential elections will be held.
Nielsen's research, which was conducted between 13 and 31 May 2013, comprises 29,000 respondents in 58 countries through an online survey (500 people were surveyed in Indonesia).
Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence
and Spending Intentions index:
| 4. Thailand
|7. United Arab Emirates||107|
|8. Hong Kong||107|
|10. Saudi Arabia||100|
|18. United States||96|
Source: Nielsen Company
Also the latest MasterCard Index TM of Consumer Confidence indicated that Indonesia, with a score of 81 points, is among five countries with the highest consumer confidence level in the Asia Pacific in the first semester of 2013. This index, however, shows a small decline in Indonesian consumer confidence compared to the previous edition (in the previous edition Indonesia had a score of 87.5 points).
Matters that make consumers optimistic are Indonesia's economic growth, employment prospects, local stock market performance, regular income prospects and the quality of life.
It remains questionable whether Indonesia's middle class will remain this optimistic in the next editions of Nielsen and Mastercard. Higher inflation (brought on by the increase in prices of subsidized fuels) and a weakening rupiah (resulting in higher costs to import goods) are expected to impact on consumption in Indonesia.