In October 2015, the International Monetary Fund released the 2016 World Economic Outlook with expectations for a sluggish 3.6% inflation. Europe can expect a moderate growth, US much like 2015 but Asia looks like the wildcard. In our region, many of our client industries depending heavily on China will be affected by its slowing growth. Countries expected to decelerate include China, Japan, until Q4 2016, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and areas of developing Asia. Providing politics remain stable, markets in Pakistan and Bangladesh continue to be firm. With neutral growth expected in Malaysia and Indonesia, reductions in oil prices affecting the Middle East and weaker global demand for Australian minerals, focus is with countries anticipating positive expansion. Growth front runners in the region are likely to be India with economic and infrastructure reforms and low commodity prices encouraging consumer spending, and the Philippines and Vietnam both benefiting from investment booms.
How does this affect mystery shopping?
By looking at local industry economic forecasts for the twelve months ahead, perhaps you can draw your own conclusions.
- Global travel spending growth expected at around 4% with much of this disbursed in our region with 500,000 hotel rooms planned in Asia Pacific countries in 2016
- Low oil prices positively affecting sales in the automotive and travel industry
- Interest rates at record lows impacting banking in the region
- Expected Asia spending surge in Health Care
- Greater retail spending online. Online sales in APAC expected to reach US$1.3 trillion by 2019, growing at 18.5% over next five years. Only need to look to China’s recent ‘Singles Day’ 24-hour online spend record of US$9.3 billion
- Estimated 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying, and almost all are very close to making their purchasing decision before visiting the store in person
- Average mobile user consumes more than 65 minutes of live video a day and this number is growing fast. Millennials look at live streaming video the same way past generations viewed television. The future of knowledge and culture is in digital, not print
- Sharing economy giants like Airbnb and Uber are encouraging consumer demand for faster service, online facilities and more reliable accessibility
- Pacific Rim forecasted for unusually bad weather in 2016 as one of three strongest El Nino’s since 1950 is expected to cause major disruptions, droughts and floods
Statistics taken from IMF, Focus Economics, PwC, The Economist, Forbes