2009 was a tough year for retailers in most Asia Pacific markets but there is light appearing at the end of the tunnel.
Volume growth down in 2009: Throughout the Asia Pacific region, countries experienced a lower level of grocery sales growth in 2009 compared to the very strong performance in 2008. Discounting the effects of lower inflation on absolute sales dollars, volume growth was significantly lower in many markets.
The strongest performing markets in 2009 were India and Vietnam, where sales values increased by nearly 15% compared to 2008. In China and Indonesia, markets that had consistently enjoyed double-digit growth over the last 5 years, the growth rate slowed down to +3% and +5% respectively. China has seen a strong recovery though since Q4 2009 and is now back to 11% growth in Q1 driven by a strong demand for food categories.
Surging consumer confidence in 2010: The latest consumer confidence index in the Asia Pacific region, as surveyed by Nielsen globally, continued to improve in 2009 and reached an index score of 101 in Q2 2010, an increase of 23 points from Q1 2009. Globally, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since Q3 2007, at 93 points in Q2 2010.
The big increase in the consumer index for the Asia Pacific region was led by Vietnam (+18) and Singapore (+5). The region also took 6 of the top 10 spots globally, in terms of consumer confidence: India (129), Indonesia (119), Vietnam (119) The Philippines (113), Singapore (112) and Australia (108). Of these countries, India and Indonesia occupied the top 2 positions globally.